Raiders reveal Vegas parking plan: All over the damn place, then take a bus

The Raiders‘ future home in Las Vegas is well under way (if a bit blurry), but until now one piece of the stadium project — a plan for where Vegas Raiders fans will park — has been “we’ll figure that out later,” words that don’t have a great track record when it comes to stadium planning. Until yesterday, when the Raiders’ parking consultants proposed a multi-site solution for where to put all those cars:

  • 2,375 parking spaces at the stadium
  • 3,700 to 4,625 spaces at the Orleans Hotel & Casino
  • 1,025 to 1,175 spaces at a former Southwest Gas facility on the northeast corner of Arville Street and Tropicana Avenue
  • 2,000 to 2,500 spaces at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Arby Avenue
  • 2,900 to 3,625 spaces at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Blue Diamond Road

For those of you without working expertise in Las Vegas geography (like me) and without the patience to Google-map all those sites (not like me, it turns out), that comes to a little bit of parking at the stadium, with most of the spots clustered around two intersections, one about a mile to the northwest of the stadium, and another about two miles to the south. Fans would then be bused from the parking lots to the game.

There are several questions that this plan raises — where you’re going to park the roughly 200 buses it would take to carry 20,000 people (assuming an average of two people per car) back to their cars immediately after the game is just one of them — but mostly it brings to mind this scenario: You are a Las Vegas Raiders fan, or just somebody visiting Las Vegas who decides to take in a game. You fire up Google or Waze or what have you, and it tells you how to get to the stadium. You drive there, and of course the lot is already full. You are directed to the overflow lot a mile away. You get there, after fighting through traffic with everybody else who is doing the same thing, only to be told that this lot is full, too — but there is more parking three miles back in the other direction. You get back in your car, head out into traffic again, and reconsider how badly you want to see a friggin’ Raiders game when there’s plenty of other stuff to do in Vegas.

Maybe this is an overly grim prognostication, but it certainly seems to be a concern, at the least. As is the fact that aside from the Orleans casino, the Raiders ownership doesn’t seem to have actually finalized deals with any of the owners of the lots that they want to use for parking. The stadium is supposed to open two years from now, so somebody had better get cracking.


19 comments on “Raiders reveal Vegas parking plan: All over the damn place, then take a bus

  1. A Las Vegas Review-Journal article quotes Don Webb, chief operating officer of the LV Stadium Events Co, about the parking situation:
    “Even though the plan’s parking capacity is sized as if it were not the case, we expect that the likes of Uber and Lyft will continue to steadily reduce stadium parking needs over time as patrons increasingly turn to rideshare as an alternative to driving and parking their own automobiles.”
    It is an interesting idea, assuming that it’s not just fluff designed to deflect questions about parking. Are they including massive pick-up and drop-off areas in multiple areas of the stadium? Different areas for Uber, Lyft, and various car-hire services?

  2. Stadium capacity is 65,000. If there are only 14,300 spaces earmarked, then at 2 people per car, that accounts for less than half of the attendance.

    That’s 36,400 people finding other places to park or taking alternate means of transportation. Anyone know how those numbers work at other stadiums?

    Assuming that predictions are correct and many people come from out of town, they can hoof it from the Strip, but those are some long blocks and the Stadium is at the end of the Strip.

    Taxi/bus/Uber are options for them and locals. but Neil is right that there will be a need for a large queuing space with those numbers and traffic could be ugly next to the stadium.

    I imagine that local businesses can make a buck on selling parking spaces–unless the local politicos put the kibosh on that.

    @Neil: I doubt the situation of searching for parking lot by lot will occur much. Maybe the first few games. But over time regulars will figure it out and likely most folks who can will buy their passes in advance along with season tiks.

    • But the Raiders’ economic projections say that 200% of all Raiders tickets will be bought by tourists! They won’t all have parking passes, surely? (Though I guess they might buy them on StubHub.)

    • The stadium is on the opposite side of the freeway from the Strip. The sidewalks on the overpass are rather standard, so That, combined with the heat, makes for a miserable walk for tourists.

      • Walking in Vegas, even for just a few blocks, has all the aesthetic appeal of traversing a WWI battlefield.

  3. The University of Tennessee football stadium seats more than 100,000 and there aren’t many parking spaces close to the stadium. People park all around the downtown area. It isn’t a big deal and it won’t be a big deal in Vegas because: there is a LOT more existing parking in any urban area than people realize. Also, please don’t write dopey things like “they need 200 buses!!1!” Buses make more than one trip shuttling fans. As I said, it’s no big deal.

    • Gregbert,

      If you think Neil is writing dopey things I would rethink “there is a LOT more existing parking in any urban area than people realize”.
      Here’s a pro tip – Knoxville is not NYC which isn’t Las Vegas.

      • I can think of a lot of college/pro stadiums that are big with minimal parking that make it work, but none of those involve standing in a treeless lot on 100 degree days. It will require a lot of patience, which isn’t in huge supply at NFL games.

        The Lyft idea is interesting but considering the math problem of road space and car size, may not really work.

    • On the way to the game, sure, buses can make more than one trip. On the way out of the game, when everyone wants to get to their car at the same time, that’s not going to work.

      • We’re talking about Raider fans here. It ought to be guite the site seeing inebriated/hung over Raider fan getting hostile after their team underachieves and they’re having issues getting out of the stadium.

    • Aren’t most college football stadiums….on college campuses…where…stay with me here…college students tend to be already living?

      UT says Neyland Stadium (capacity 102,000) has 10,000 parking spaces that the university controls. That’s just under 10 percent capacity (or assuming 2 – which is probably low – people per vehicle – more than 20 percent of attendees).

      If the Raiders’ stadium holds 65k and has 2,375 parking spots, that’s just over 7 percent of attendees who can optimistically park on site. And….no college students happen to live on the actual plot of land.

  4. Didn’t the 49ers have a similar sort of “plan” to make use of (other people’s) parking lots for their games?

    Question: Is it possible/likely that in the ‘new’ NFL, teams see limited parking as a plus because they think they can get people into the facility early and keep them late, spending money they wouldn’t otherwise have spent at stadium housed venues because fans would rather do that than sit in traffic (on a bus, in a car, or in a herd of pedestrians going nowhere fast)?

    All in all, I would personally just avoid the game altogether (particularly considering how much cheaper and better just watching on TV is these days), but I get the feeling that lots of other fans don’t feel the same way.

    • That was the theory of one of the D.C. city officials about the Nationals’ stadium, remember? Sure, the subway station can’t handle the crowds, but that’s good because more fans will have to wait around after the game and go to sports bars!

      I kind of suspect that this issue will remedy itself when nobody actually goes to Las Vegas Raiders games, but we’ll see.

      • I tend to agree with the latter point. Time will tell, but I find myself wondering if (after the newness wears off) the LV Raiders won’t be averaging fewer fans per game than the Oakland Raiders have the last decade or so.

    • Only been to a couple of Niners games, but parking/access was awful when I went and I think it’s still bad. The access points are limited and choked.

      Tried taking light rail once. Getting there was ok, as long as you were on an early stop along the way. The closer you got to the stadium, the more crowded the train. But leaving was a bear. Only one train at a time and hundreds of people lined up to leave.

      Limiting access choices has the opposite affect than keeping people at the stadium (especially since alcholhol sales end before the game does). It entices people to leave early to beat everyone else out of the meager lots or on the limited mass transit service.

      • That’s only true of in stadium alcohol sales JC (limited to 3rd quarter or 7th inning etc.). For the ancillary development bars, clubs and the like, there will be no sales cutoff associated with the game itself.

        There’s also a moment when you realize – as you line up to exit a stadium – that you aren’t going to be one of the early birds to get out of the parking lot and on the road back home. When that happens, any waiting option that is more enjoyable than standing in a herd of people shuffling along at 0.2mph while watching/listening to car horns honking and people’s blood pressure rising as they fight to gain 2 feet in a merge lane has to be considered.

        You’d definitely want people out of the actual stadium seating bowl after the game (if for no other reason than the cleanup and field staff start work almost immediately after the game ends… was at a football game a few years ago in a fixed roof stadium…. I waited around for 30 mins or so after the game to meet friends and, by the time the seating bowls were emptied out the FG posts were down and the turf crew was already taking up sections in prep for the concert that was coming a few days later). However, that doesn’t mean they have to leave the larger development.

        Ideally, as the franchise owner, you want them to leave only when they are out of cash and their debit/credit cards are at the daily limit. Only when they are totally broke do they become deadbeat customers who need to be expelled.