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Allegiant Stadium Steams Along, New Hotel Planned Near Stadium, Carr Will be Raiders QB in 2020

Scott Gulbransen
allegiant stadium derek carr las vegas raiders
Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In what will be a regular news and notes column, editor and publisher Scott Gulbransen will share with you news, views and whispers concerning the Las Vegas Raiders, & Allegiant Stadium directly from Las Vegas.

164 days.

That’s how much time is left before the Las Vegas Raiders future home of Allegiant Stadium is substantially completed. In the blink of an eye, nearly two-and-a-half years have passed since I attended the groundbreaking of what become Allegiant Stadium Las Vegas. We’ve watched the menacingly beautiful glass and steel structure – dubbed “The Death Star” by fans – rise out of the desert and become an iconic part of the city’s skyline.

With the stadium over 85% complete, the entire exterior is now almost completely covered in glass (see our exclusive drone video from this week below) and the intricate cable roof system is up and ready for the ETFE roof installation.

Sources working at the site have told me they expect that work to start in the next 10 days. Although not in project management, the same source told us they expect the roof to be completed on time, or perhaps earlier than the May time frame given when it was delayed late last year.

Now That’s A Video Screen

In another bit of stadium news, our good friend Mick Akers at the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported this week on the massive video board on the side of Allegiant Stadium which will face Interstate 15. The 27,600 square-foot video screen won’t be the biggest in Las Vegas, according to Akers’ report, but as a free-standing video board (unlike the area’s largest inside the Freemont Street Experience canopy which measures 135,000 square feet) it is the biggest.

“But as freestanding signs go, the Allegiant screen will eclipse all others in Clark County. Sign plans submitted to Clark County show the video board is planned to be 80 feet tall by 345 feet long and is set to be attached to the outside of the $2 billion, 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium,” Akers wrote.

Wow. Distracted driving anyone?

The sign will use a material called Mediamesh, according to Akers who spoke to the Raiders. Akers wrote the material “…allows structures to display dynamic video boards while allowing those inside to see out the windows.”

Pretty cool.

The Allegiant Stadium Economic Effect

Those that were not in favor of creating a new hotel tax to fund the public portion of Allegiant Stadium often used studies to show no major economic impact on areas that publicly subsidize stadiums. Those studies, which often did not include examples of where it has had such an impact, also don’t understand Las Vegas.

Gifted business writer Eli Segall of the Review-Journal reported today of a $300 million hotel project at the far end of The Strip, just across Russell Road and I-15 from Allegiant Stadium.

Dream hotel las vegas raiders allegiant stadium
Photo: DLR Group

“Developer David Daneshforooz and Shopoff Realty Investments teamed up to acquire a 5.25-acre plot of land on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Russell Road — the site of a failed high-rise project during the bubble years — for $21 million. The sale closed Friday, property records show,” Segall’s report says.

This is great news for the South Strip which has been a wasteland since the 2008 crash. There’s also a reason the developer’s rendering shows Allegiant Stadium. In addition to 10 Las Vegas Raiders games, and upwards of six UNLV Rebels football games, major concerts and other events will find their way to Allegiant Stadium. One can only imagine the Dream hotel on a big game weekend for the Raiders.

Move to Acceptance: Derek Carr Will be Under Center for the Raiders in 2020

I know, I know. A good portion of you wants to see Tom Brady, Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater or just about anyone but Carr as the Las Vegas quarterback next season.

As I have been consistent in saying, since the tail end of the 2019 season, Carr will be your quarterback in 2020.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a shred of truth in the Brady rumors or that the Raiders aren’t looking to find Carr’s eventual successor. Or, that the Raiders, Mayock, and Gruden don’t listen to offers or think about ways to improve their team at every position.

Despite those things, it makes more sense for the Raiders to ride with Carr next season and see what he does in Year 3 under Gruden. It won’t be popular with a growing portion of the fanbase, but it’s the right thing to do right now. I do think the Raiders will bring in some new blood this season via the draft and free agency. But Carr will get his new start in Las Vegas and it will be up to him to make the most of it. He’ll have more tools and experience in the offense.

Oh, And on Tom Brady…

More and more, after talking with folks all over the country, I am moving toward agreeing with our own Moe Moton’s view that Brady has no chance of becoming a Raider.

That doesn’t discount a conversation or two between the sides but Brady isn’t what Las Vegas means and I don’t put any stock in “he bought a house there.”

When you look at the offensive scheme fit, and what the Raiders would need to change to accommodate a demanding Brady, it doesn’t make sense for either side. It might be tempting for both parties but I think it will end at flirting.