All the proposed sites for a Vegas Raiders stadium are pretty much unworkable

Billionaire casino baron Sheldon Adelson and not-quite-billionaire Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis may be successfully getting Las Vegas officials to ignore the fact that they’re demanding the largest NFL stadium subsidy in history and instead settle for haggling over the price, but even if they get the public cash — which is still to be determined — they have to find a place to build the thing. And somewhat surprisingly, given that Vegas is in the middle of a trackless desert, this is turning out to be a bit of a problem:

  • The top site, on Tropicana Avenue near McCarran Airport, is now pretty much off the table thanks to the opposition of Southwest Airlines, which would have seen its flights scaled back thanks to the stadium interfering with available airspace.
  • The former site of the Riviera Hotel and Casino could work, except that that’s also the proposed site of a convention center expansion. Though given that half the reason behind the stadium proposal is thought to be to block to convention center plan — Adelson runs a competing convention center, and is hoping to suck up hotel tax money so it can’t be used to expand his rivals — this probably won’t be a stumbling block for Adelson, it could be for elected officials.
  • There’s the Rock in Rio grounds, but that’s privately owned and would cost a ton to purchase, and the Las Vegas 51’s Cashman Field, which is way the hell out in the middle of nowhere and nobody likes it as a site.
  • The latest contender is a site adjacent to the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus, which was previously under consideration by Majestic Realty, yet another one of the partners on this latest stadium project, for an earlier planned UNLV stadium, before the university ditched it when other local casino operators griped. No recurrence of those gripes has re-emerged as of yet, but there’s still plenty of time left to go.

Undoubtedly, Adelson and friends will ultimately find a site — team owners always do — and the bigger issue will be the money. The two are tied together, though, not just because a purchase price for land may have to be folded into the stadium funding deal, but because there’s the question of that tax increment district that Adelson wants, which could kick back more or less tax revenue to the stadium’s private owners depending on where it ends up going, and how many people visit there on non-game days. This is normally the sort of thing you’d hope local elected officials would work out before considering whether to drop almost a billion dollars on a project, but the combination of the lure of an NFL team and the combined lobbying might of Adelson plus Majestic can sway a lot of politicians to overlook details like “where will it go” or “how will we pay for it,” apparently.

19 comments on “All the proposed sites for a Vegas Raiders stadium are pretty much unworkable

  1. Maybe one of the required qualifications to run for office should be evidence of a spine.

  2. They could demolish the dilapidated Harbor Island apartments west of the Hard Rock and with the existing vacant lot west of it…. Plenty of space between the Strip & UNLV

      • Not sure how much Mark Davis takes in consideration the effect to local crack prices, but you’ll still have 100 other rundown apartments around UNLV to choose from…. I think the black market would sustain itself.

        • I could imagine seeing him doing Karaoke at Ellis Island or getting tmz’d outside of Gypsies (if either of them even still exist).


    A stadium site and taxpayer funding for it won’t be a problem.

    • The average American across the board is “uneducated” to put it lightly, but sure Vegas has a lower % of bachelor degrees per capita. Although Arizona State University prints bachelor degrees for anyone that can fog a mirror, plus they enroll like 60k students so their numbers are understandably higher.

      A more updated reason of why Vegas could ‘reasonably’ pull off a hotel/car rental tax increase: “…hotels, food and drinks, transportation, shows and sightseeing all hit a five-year high in 2015.”

  4. There is no site that cannot be made workable with the application of a sufficiently staggering pile of tax dollars. Adelson knows this. Davis knows this.

    • They should buy some of the federal land near the speedway and build the stadium there. No need to further clog up downtown or the Strip area with a stadium. MGM already got away with building an arena and not having adequate parking. No need to allow it to happen again with a stadium that would house 4x the number of people.

      • A location that far away from UNLV is the same problem they have with their current stadium.

        An arena that far from downtown wouldn’t fair much better than the Coyotes out in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals do fine out there, but UNLV football (the main tenant if/when the Raiders left) would need a centralized location between their campus & the strip.

  5. I hadn’t heard that Cashman Field was being considered as a possible site, but it isn’t in the middle of nowhere. It’s literally a few blocks from the US-95 freeway in the middle of a developed area. The Grant Sawyer building, a large State government building is right across the street. It is less than 2 miles from Downtown Las Vegas and exactly 2 miles from a main bus terminal.
    The site itself sucks. It would require huge amounts of renovation and is still a high crime area although the Raiders would fit right in there.

  6. According to Zennie Abraham the Mayor of Las Vegas and the Commissioner of Clark County both SNTIC Members took large contributions from Sheldon Adelson’s Sands Corp.

  7. South of Cactus between I-15 & LV Blvd. Nothing to eminent domain. Plenty of room for tail-gating & a Raiders HOF building. Freeway access & not ridiculously far from McCarran.

    • That’s right next to Southern Highlands, one of the nicest neighborhoods in Vegas…. generally stadiums get built in more blighted areas.

    • I think best spot would be across from mandalay bay where the land is for sale where they were suppose to Build another viewing wheel it’s 40 acer parcel close to freeways and hotels and on the strip

  8. I feel it should be 50-50 of both private-public money to build the the stadium on unlv campus behind mgm Grand Hotel and casino southwest AIRLINES should be fair about since unlv bought the land for 50m the raiders don’t have a whole lot time on their hands after the 2016 season ends they’ll have no big deal playing at Sam Boyd stadium for the time being until the raiders and rebels New stadium gets completely done I used to be and still a Nevada native eventhough I lived in New Mexico for 38 years I’ve been a raiders fan since 1975 Oakland a’s were my first love in mlb

  9. Really they want it by the strip and freeways there is one spot no one has thought about its a 40 acres parcel just across the street from Mandalay and its up for sale too close by airport hotels and freeways and strip

    • That site would better than the proposed convention center site, which is entirely political, but it’s still over a half an hour walk from UNLV’s campus & it’s cornered against the airport which worsens the already bad traffic on the strip.

      Harbor Island apartments would only be a 10 min walk from the UNLV campus & it’s closer to more hotels with it’s centralized location. The strip is already lopsided, with the south side’s history of out performing the north end…until the Fontainebleau is sold&foci pleated (reportedly by Sept. to Dan Gilbert or Lorenzo Fertitta) and Resorts World & convention center are completed, and if the Alon resort & All Net Arena don’t face-plant (I won’t hold my breath) then the north end could finally balance things out, even though the Harbor Island site still favors the south end… The worst traffic runs north&south around the strip–hiking from SLS to Mandalay Bay is a rarity.