LAS VEGAS, NV – According to reports, numerous construction projects in the Las Vegas area are facing the very real threat of being thrown off-schedule due to a lack of staff in Clark County’s Public Works Department – still recovering from cuts made during the mid-2000’s recession – including one of the biggest projects in Southern Nevada’s recent history: the upcoming stadium of the newly-transplanted NFL Raiders football team.
In May 2017, the Raiders purchased 62 acres of land west of the Mandalay Bay resort, finalizing the decision and clearing the way for construction of a brand-new, state-of-the-art stadium that will serve as the team’s new home when they move to Las Vegas from their current home of Oakland, California. Previously, the Raiders had moved from Oakland to Las Angeles in 1982, returning to Oakland in 1995. The Raiders’ impending arrival in Las Vegas has been heralded as a sign of the recovering economy and housing market in the region, and is also being credited for actually aiding said economic recovery – by means of the team’s enduring popularity – by attracting additional tourism and business to the area upon their arrival.
Details on the stadium have also been coming into focus in recent weeks; at a projected cost of $1.9 billion – including $750 million in public funding by way of Nevada legislator approval – the indoor, climate-controlled facility is slated to seat 65,000 (with the ability to expand seating to 72,000), features U-shaped seating arrangement; the open end faces a view of the Las Vegas Strip. The stadium was originally expected to be completed in time for the 2020 NFL season, although estimates allowed for the possibility of early completion for 2019; however, due to staffing issues in Clark County’s Public Works Department, that estimate may now have to be revised.
Public Works commissioners Steve Sisolak and Jim Gibson have expressed concerns that current staffing levels may result in a delay in conducting surveys and processing applications for numerous developers, including ones submitted by those behind the Raiders’ stadium. While attempting to increase the number of employees they have with new hires, commissioners are looking into other ways of expediting the application approval process. In attempt to streamline the design and approval process from their end, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority has noted that they are planning to employ a construction industry consultant on a short-term basis to review design specifications provided by the Raiders’ contractors and provide advice to the authority.
Regardless of any possible delays, the fact remains that the creation of the Las Vegas Raiders Stadium is already providing a boost to the local economy, including jobs (and corresponding wages), tourism, and especially the real estate market, which has already been seeing a steady and constant increase in prosperity since the housing bubble pop of the mid-2000’s. Home and rental prices have been climbing on a regular basis, and with the much-anticipated arrival of the Raiders, Las Vegas is looking to enter a legitimate boom period that the region hasn’t seen in over a decade.
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