The Raiders yesterday held a "dazzling groundbreaking event" for their proposed $1.9B, 65,000-seat domed stadium in Las Vegas, marking the team's "most visual display of committing to ... bringing the NFL to Southern Nevada," according to a front-page piece by Richard Velotta of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. While all the legal paperwork is "still months away from being signed," the groundbreaking "moved the chains of public perception." The event was "attended by about 600 invited guests" and "included a tribute to the 58 people who died in the Oct. 1 mass shooting." The Raiders "purposely set up the groundbreaking venue at the exact angle the stadium will sit so attendees could enjoy the view through the retractable wall at the northeast end of the stadium once the venue is completed." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval were the "top dignitaries on hand." Goodell, after being introduced, said, "Only in Vegas can you turn a groundbreaking ceremony into a show." Sandoval added, "Now it’s real, right? This is one of the most transformative moments in the history of Las Vegas." UNLV President Len Jessup and AD Desiree Reed-Francois also "were on hand," as the school's football team will play at the stadium (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/14).
GOING ALL IN: In Las Vegas, Alan Snel noted by groundbreaking standards, it "doesn’t get more star-studded." There was a sense that late Raiders Owner Al Davis "would have approved." Meanwhile, UFC COO Lawrence Epstein, a stadium board member, said that the promotion "will stage at least one mega event a year in the stadium." MGM Resorts Int'l President William Hornbuckle added that he "hopes the monorail will serve the stadium -- words that were heard" by Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak. A source said that a "proposed UNLV stadium lease" will be on the stadium board agenda in December (LVSPORTSBIZ.com, 11/13). In S.F., Regina Garcia Cano reports contractors will "work under an ambitious timeline as the team wants to begin" the '20 season at the stadium (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/14). In Las Vegas, Adam Candee notes Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, Rams Owner Stan Kroenke and Chargers Chair Dean Spanos were in attendance, as were Fox' Howie Long and former NFLer Jim Plunkett (LAS VEGAS SUN, 11/14). Kraft said, "This will become the No. 1 destination city in the league. Fans pick one or two cities in the league to visit for away games, and everyone will pick this one" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/14).
Aramark will start selling compostable bags of peanuts at Arrowhead Stadium, which the concessionaire says is a first for sports. The effort is a collaboration among Aramark, the Chiefs, bag maker BASF and Hampton Farms, which is among the country’s top peanut suppliers. During Chiefs home games, Aramark sells 15,000 bags of peanuts in general concessions every season and team officials approached the food vendor to find ways to comply with the “Extra Yard for the Environment” initiative, which is the team’s waste reduction effort. After 18 months of development, the result is a peanut bag made of compostable materials that eliminates the landfill as a trash destination. The cost, $5.75, is the same as a regular bag of peanuts made of a non-recyclable material. At Arrowhead, fans can dispose empty bags at compost bins in the stadium or leave them under their seat for postgame pickup and sorting. The program launches Nov. 26 for Bills-Chiefs at concession stands and in-seat vending, and will extend to the final three home games of the season. Aramark’s goal, pending additional testing in other markets, is to expand the compostable bag concept to include all peanuts sold at their food accounts, said Aramark Senior Dir of Corporate Communications David Freireich. Currently, Aramark sells more than 1.1 million bags of peanuts across sports. An official announcement comes today at the Green Sports Alliance Food Summit in Philadelphia.
Padres Exec Chair Ron Fowler yesterday said that construction on a new right-field video board at Petco Park "could begin by early December," according to Dennis Lin of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The new screen will be "roughly the same size as the old video board in left field, or about a fifth of the size of the current left-field board." Fowler said a team study found that more than 20% of fans, when the ballpark is full, "really have difficulty seeing the board in left field, so we felt we had to do something about it." Lin notes the new video board will "sit above the seats in right field, occupying about two-thirds of the space currently belonging to three billboards." The project, to be ready before the '18 opener, "will cost" more than $2M. In other ballpark news, the Padres have "not yet determined the exact dimensions of the soon-to-be-expanded netting behind home plate." Meanwhile, the Padres' May 4-6 series against the Dodgers in Monterrey, Mexico, was "officially announced" yesterday. Padres season-ticket holders will be "offered refunds for the Monterrey series, with full-season packages going from 81 games to 78 games." Fowler said that season-ticket holders will be "presented with a variety of options and ticket packages." Finally, Fowler said he was "personally shooting" for the team to achieve a .500 record in '18 (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/14).