Allegiant Stadium construction is going as planned and both the investor and contractor are ready for potential delays. One thing that could threaten timely opening is the governor's power to shutter all of Nevada's construction industry.
As we wrote just before Easter, construction at Allegiant Stadium is progressing as planned even with new COVID-19 cases being confirmed on the site. But over the weekend speculation arose about potential 'plan b', that is a temporary relocation to a different state, should the project slip past its July 31 deadline.
With Nevada not offering a second stadium of such scale, able to hold an NFL team, Raiders would supposedly consider moving to Salt Lake City (Utah), Phoenix (Arizona) or San Diego (California) for part of the 2020 season. All three locations were previously considered when the contract with Oakland Coliseum was bieng renegotiated.
However, it seems this scenario is extremely unlikely. Even if works have to slow down (currently at 85% and expected to deliver complete dome within 2 weeks), there's still a time cushion. Two out of four pre-season games are to be held at Allegiant Stadium, but can be switched to away fixtures instead. Also, first matches of the season can be played away if needed.
“There are no labor problems and no material supply-chain problems,” said Don Webb, COO of Las Vegas Stadium Co. “My biggest concern right now is government intervention. We’re able to manage the schedule, manage the budget, and manage labor resources and materials. What’s difficult now during such a squirrelly situation is the government.”
What Webb means is the ability of governor Steve Sisolak to order all construction projects to stop, as he did with casinos, hotels and other nonessential businesses. Sisolak insists he has no interest in doing thath, as he has already seen 250,000 newly unemployed people in recent weeks and seizing construction would create 100,000 more unemployment claims.
The only situation in which such scenario would be possible is the pandemic spiraling out of control, like in New York. But so far Nevada has only over 3,000 confirmed cases and serious issues consider only homeless residents and nursing homes. Experience of other countries and states suggests that – while clearly devastating – coronavirus spreading among these populations doesn't have to mean wider community spread.