The Oakland Raiders will put the first shovels in the ground today on their $1.9 billion stadium project near the Strip, the next major step in the franchise’s long process of moving to Las Vegas.
Seven months after receiving approval from NFL owners to relocate from California to Nevada, Raiders owner Mark Davis, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and local leaders will officially start the 31-month construction clock in an evening ceremony at the Russell Road stadium site.
General contractors Mortenson and McCarthy will need to deliver a finished building by July 2020 for the Raiders to start their first season in Las Vegas a month later. Earthwork began in recent weeks on the 62-acre parcel, which the Raiders paid $77.5 million to acquire in May.
The Raiders began looking at Las Vegas as a possible new home almost two years ago, after nearly a decade of failed discussions with the city of Oakland about a new stadium in the Bay Area. The Raiders play at the Oakland Coliseum, which they share with the Oakland A’s of Major League Baseball — the only remaining shared arrangement in American major-league sports.
The team navigated many turns along the road to this groundbreaking, including the inclusion and withdrawal of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in financing $650 million of the project and a special session of the Nevada State Legislature to acquire $750 million in taxpayer funds toward the project. The $750 million is the largest commitment of public funding toward a stadium in American history.