Welcome to Las Vegas sign (Getty Images)
The Raiders warned Las Vegas that not having a stadium lease agreement in hand for next week’s NFL meetings could delay the team’s arrival in Nevada.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority did its part Thursday, unanimously approving a conditional lease agreement for the Raiders, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
That result was met with a roar of approval by Laborers International Union Local 872 hard-hats who had gathered at the Clark Clark County Government Center.
The cheers led the Las Vegas Sun to dub the agreement “the lease heard ’round the world” as the construction workers will be part of the group that will build the proposed $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium that the Raiders hope to break ground on this summer.
The lease agreement, months in the making, was a key step, Raiders president Marc Badain told ESPN.com: “It means we go to the league meetings in Chicago with a lease and hopefully get it approved and stay on pace for a 2020 opening.”
An interesting sidelight to the lease, according to the Sun: Gaming was listed as being a prohibited use for the stadium, “going so far as to list specific card games that cannot be conducted at the facility.”
The Raiders plan to stay in Oakland for the 2017 and ’18 seasons, under two existing one-year leases on the Coliseum. The team hasn’t decided where it will play in 2019, although owner Marc Davis has said he doesn’t want to play at UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium, which seats only 35,500.
If the Stadium Authority hadn’t gotten the lease agreement approved, then the next opportunity for owners to see it as a group and vote on it would’ve been in October, enough of a delay that it could’ve pushed the stadium opening back by a year the way rain has affected the Rams and Chargers’ new stadium in Inglewood, Calif.