14 Nov 2017 Watch: Video shows Oakland Raiders’ stunning NFL stadium design as ground broken in Las Vegas By Rob Gibson
A groundbreaking ceremony took place in Las Vegas last night for the new home of the Oakland Raiders Photo: Manica
The Oakland Raiders have broken ground on a $1.9bn (£1.45bn, €1.62bn) stadium in Las Vegas which is due to become their home from 2020.
During a glitzy ceremony attended by celebrities, politicians and players last night (13 November), Raiders owner Mark Davis and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shovelled the dirt to kick off development of the 65,000-capacity, glass-domed stadium.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place at sunset and included a standing ovation in memory of the 58 people who were killed in the Las Vegas shooting last month.
"This will be seen around the world as a reflection of the spirit of Las Vegas: a resilient city on the rise," Goodell said. "This is a very significant day in the franchise's storied history and a tangible symbol of the team's future in Las Vegas."
A concept video for the project shows a sleek stadium designed by sports architects Manica, featuring a horseshoe-shaped seating arrangement that is open at one end to offer spectacular views towards the neighboring Las Vegas Strip.
The air-conditioned stadium is expandable to 72,000 seats to host the Super Bowl, and at the centre of the open end is a 120 ft (37m) tower that will house a “flaming cauldron” in honour of former Raiders owner and coach Al Davis. The stadium is set to be shared with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The Raiders have hired Mortenson Construction and Henderson’s McCarthy Building Companies as general contractors, however, the project is limited to pre-construction work until the franchise finalises an agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority and Clark County, including a guaranteed maximum price of the project, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The financing plan for the stadium includes $750m (£572m, €640m) in publicly issued tax-exempt bonds, with the Raiders and the NFL expected to contribute an additional $500m (£382m, €426m) to the project. The franchise has secured a $600m (£458m, €512m) loan from Bank of America for construction.