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Volume 24 No. 112


Clark County (Nev.) Commission Chair Steve Sisolak after a closed-door meeting Thursday said he is “confident” the Raiders will play in a new Las Vegas stadium by the start of the '20 NFL season, according to a front-page piece by Art Marroquin of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. To make that happen, Sisolak said that he will "'implore' local transportation agencies to accelerate previously planned road improvements, adding that the Raiders will pay a share of costs for projects specific to the stadium." Sisolak: “It’s tight, there’s no wiggle room, there’s no room for error, but it can be done in time." Sisolak said that the Raiders "plan to file 'very soon' for a height-requirement review" with the FAA -- "most likely for the team’s preferred 62-acre site" in southeast Las Vegas. FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said that there is "not a set timeline to complete such reviews, but it took 'well over a year' to resolve radar interference issues" at LAX that were "caused by the height of the Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood." Roughly 70 people attended the private meeting, "including a dozen Raiders representatives" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/21).

WON'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT: In Las Vegas, Mick Akers notes the meeting "focused on infrastructure for the stadium." Sisolak said, "It’s a 32-month project -- it’s going to take some time. It’s incumbent upon the county to do everything it can to facilitate the development and that it’s done in an expeditious manner.” Sisolak also said that the Raiders have "yet to exercise their option to purchase" the 62-acre Russell Road site. CBRE Global Gaming Group Exec VP John Knott, who represents the property owners, said that the "asking price for the land" is $100M. The Raiders in Thursday's meeting "brought up their concerns with the site, including parking issues." About 6,200 parking spots are "planned for the Russell Road site, fewer than the average NFL stadium." The use of a nearby hotel-casino parking garage has been mentioned in previous meetings and studies, but Sisolak said that the "likelihood of that is slim." However, Sisolak said that renting some spots "could happen" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 4/21). 

ON THE DOTTED LINE: In Las Vegas, Richard Velotta notes members of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board on Thursday "took their first dive into a new draft lease agreement" with the Raiders. The draft is not yet complete, and LVSA Chair Steve Hill said that there are "still some issues to resolve, including a critical sublease that would spell out UNLV’s access to the facility." After the review, MGM Resorts Int’l President and LVSA BOD member Bill Hornbuckle said that he was "concerned about whether everything would be completed" by August '20 when the team targets moving in. Hornbuckle: “It took us 22 months from groundbreaking to opening of the T-Mobile (Arena), and this is a bigger project. There’s room for concern. Having said that, it can be done, but we’ve got to be breaking ground by fall.” Hill said that he "intends to have a timetable completed by the authority’s next meeting, May 11, that outlines when documents, studies and actions must be completed" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/21). Also in Las Vegas, Adam Candee notes deadline pressure "did not prevent a few moments of celebration at the meeting." Raiders President Marc Badain informed the board that "close to 46,000 personal seat license deposits have been collected by the Raiders" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 4/21). The AP's Regina Garcia Cano notes the Raiders "wouldn't pay rent" at the proposed tax-funded stadium under the most recent version of the lease agreement. At Thursday's meeting, "several details of the draft agreement, including the stadium's insurance, naming rights and length of the lease, were addressed" by LVSA board members (AP, 4/20). 

The NFL is "helping to fund" EPL club Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium and has contributed US$12.8M to the project so far, according to sources cited by Dan Kilpatrick of The initial payment, recorded in the club's financial results, will "go towards the tailoring" of the 61,000-seat stadium for the hosting of NFL games. Tottenham has agreed to a 10-year deal for the NFL to "host a minimum" of two games per year at the stadium, which is expected to open for the start of the '18-19 season. The NFL will also "pay the club a set fee every time it uses the venue." The new stadium will "include a retractable synthetic surface, set beneath the grass pitch, that will be used for NFL games." NFL Exec VP/Int'l Mark Waller, who is working with Tottenham Chair Daniel Levy on the project, has said that the NFL "hopes to have a permanent franchise in London" by '20 (, 4/21).

The Titans have selected Legends and Levy Restaurants to share the food service operation at Nissan Stadium. The decision comes shortly after the team’s early termination of Aramark’s contract. Legends will operate general concessions and Levy will manage premium dining in the suites and clubs. There are a few exceptions in sports, but the split agreement goes against the typical trend for using one vendor to run all aspects of food service. Titans CEO Steve Underwood wrote in an email, “We think having the division of labor gives us the opportunity to better manage the two distinct parts of food and beverage." Underwood: “It also allows our new providers to work together to boost staffing levels. Our entire focus is enhancing the fan experience and we believe getting the best of two separate service providers will allow us to achieve this most important goal.” Delaware North Sportservice, the general concessions operator at the Predators' Bridgestone Arena, was the third finalist for the contract. Levy handles premium at the Preds' arena (Don Muret, Staff Writer). In Nashville, Joey Garrison notes the Titans are "still finalizing contract terms with both companies." Aramark's "final day at Nissan Stadium was April 13," and Legends and Levy have "already started." The companies' "first event will be the Titans' NFL Draft party next Thursday." The decision to hire two vendors instead of one "comes as the Titans have been particularly critical of the food services in the stadium's club-level suites, where Levy will now work exclusively" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/21). 

The Hawks will "move into" a 90,000-square foot practice facility in the fall that cost the team nearly $50M to build, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. The Hawks are "teaming with Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center and P3 (Peak Performance Project) to create a center that not only includes modern amenities but one that incorporates the best of sports medicine and science." The "strategically-planned convergence is aimed at preventing injuries, keeping players healthier and extending careers." Practice facilities are "front and center in the NBA’s arms race" as teams "look for other ways to support players." The Hawks "believe incorporating Emory and P3 in their building is a game-changer." Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said, "It gives us competitive distinction in the NBA. ... Anything you do that makes you stand out is a good thing. We couldn’t be more excited about the accomplishment." Koonin said that the team's new ownership group led by Tony Ressler "committed to a new practice facility the day he took over." Zillgitt notes there is "another component to the new facility." With at least 50 high-level players from the NBA, D-League, and college "spending time in the Atlanta area during the summer, the Hawks want their facility to become a site for quality pickup games in the offseason." The center will also "have a visitor’s locker room" (USA TODAY, 4/21).

In Austin, Brian Davis reports Univ. of Texas officials are "soliciting bids for a company to replace the gigantic south end zone video board inside Royal-Memorial Stadium with an LED display and add smaller ribbon boards around the stadium’s seating bowl." The projected cost of replacing the aging video board "could run" anywhere from $4-6M. UT is "asking for sealed bids from companies wishing to earn the business." UT’s construction documents state that the new board "measures 56 feet high and 135 feet long" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 4/20).

PARKING PASS: On Long Island, Robert Brodsky reports two Democratic Nassau legislators are "calling on County Executive Edward Mangano to renegotiate new parking rates at the renovated Nassau Coliseum after fans attending the inaugural Billy Joel concert this month were charged $40 to park their vehicles." In a response letter Wednesday, Mangano said he contacted Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to “express the frustration of residents” to the parking fees and “urge you to do the same” (NEWSDAY, 4/20).

ISLAND IN THE SUN: In Honolulu, Duane Shimogawa noted the deed restrictions on the 100 acres of land under Aloha Stadium have "officially been lifted, paving the way for a planned major redevelopment project that includes building a mixed-use community using a rail transit station, as well as a brand new, smaller stadium that could accommodate more events" (, 4/20).