Raiders’ Ve­gas sta­dium com­mu­nity ben­e­fits out­line un­veiled

Porterville Recorder - - SPORTS - By REGINA GAR­CIA CANO

The pub­lic got its first glimpse Thurs­day at an Oak­land Raiders sta­dium doc­u­ment de­signed to en­sure the par­tic­i­pa­tion of mi­nori­ties, small busi­nesses and oth­ers in the planned project.

The out­line of the com­mu­nity ben­e­fits plan un­veiled dur­ing a meet­ing of the pub­lic board that over­sees the pro­posed project in­cludes tar­gets for small busi­ness par­tic­i­pa­tion and calls on the team to carry out com­mu­nity out­reach pro­grams. The plan, re­quired by state law, is meant to en­sure the great­est pos­si­ble par­tic­i­pa­tion by the lo­cal com­mu­nity in the de­sign, con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion of the $1.9 bil­lion project.

“I think that the ben­e­fit that the sta­dium can pro­vide to the en­tire com­mu­nity is im­por­tant to ev­ery­body here,” Las Ve­gas Sta­dium Au­thor­ity chair­man Steve Hill said af­ter the meet­ing. “One of the rea­sons why it is a hot-but­ton is­sue now ... is that it is the most timely agree­ment that we need to get done. They are go­ing to start the con­struc­tion process.”

The out­line listed the state­man­dated 15 per­cent par­tic­i­pa­tion of lo­cal small busi­nesses, but it did not in­clude a hir­ing tar­get of mi­nor­ity work­ers, an is­sue that has dom­i­nated the pub­lic’s com­ments dur­ing the board’s meet­ings. Board con­sul­tant Jeremy Aguero said staff is us­ing U.S. Cen­sus Bureau data to cre­ate a matrix to de­ter­mine the ap­pro­pri­ate hir­ing tar­gets, which will be in­cluded in the fi­nal draft.

The team wants to kick off the 2020 sea­son at a 65,000-seat sta­dium near the Las Ve­gas Strip. Guests of ho­tels and other lodg­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the Las Ve­gas area are con­tribut­ing $750 mil­lion to the project.

Sim­i­lar doc­u­ments used in other sta­dium deals have in­cluded hir­ing guide­lines. In Min­nesota, the state set a goal in 2012 for 32 per­cent of con­struc­tion work­ers at U.S. Bank Sta­dium to be mi­nori­ties and 6 per­cent women. The Vik­ings’ project sur­passed the goal with 37 per­cent mi­nor­ity hir­ing and 9 per­cent women.

In In­gle­wood, Cal­i­for­nia, the City Coun­cil in 2015 ap­proved an agree­ment for the con­struc­tion of the Rams and Charg­ers sta­dium re­quir­ing that no less than 18 per­cent of the funds awarded for con­struc­tion-re­lated con­tracts and sub­con­tracts go to mi­nor­ity and dis­ad­van­taged busi­nesses.

The board also au­tho­rized a six-month dead­line ex­ten­sion Thurs­day to al­low the team and its con­struc­tion and de­sign con­trac­tors to de­ter­mine the project’s guar­an­teed max­i­mum price, which is needed for ap­proval of the de­vel­op­ment agree­ment. The sta­dium de­sign process needs to be about 65 per­cent com­pleted be­fore a re­li­able price can be de­ter­mined.

The dead­line change means the team’s con­trac­tors will be able to do pre­lim­i­nary work at the 62acre site west of the Man­dalay Bay casino-re­sort, but it leaves the Raiders on the hook for cov­er­ing the costs of that work should the project fall apart.

“It is ob­vi­ously crit­i­cal that they be able to con­tinue to do what they need to do while we are work­ing through th­ese agree­ments,” Hill said, adding that oth­er­wise, the project would prob­a­bly be de­layed by a year.

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