Las Vegas monorail extension won’t be ready for Raiders stadium opening

A planned extension to the Las Vegas Monorail – seen as a way to bring tourists within walking distance of the Raiders’ new stadium – is unlikely to be completed by the time the team begins play here in 2020. .

Construction of the MGM Grand extension to Mandalay Bay, located just across Interstate 15 from the stadium, is expected to take 18 months. But the Las Vegas Monorail Co. has yet to begin, making completion unlikely before the Raiders’ 2020 season opener.

Given that the stadium’s transportation plan is still being worked on, it’s too early to know what impact, if any, a delayed monorail expansion will have on the stadium project, according to analyst Jeremy Aguero, whose the applied analytics company serves as the Las Vegas Stadium Authority. Staff.

“It’s impossible to say at this stage,” Aguero said. “The transportation plan has not been developed, so the extent to which the monorail plays into that plan would be difficult to determine at this stage of the process. Obviously, all modes of transportation are important to Southern Nevada and major venues like the stadium cannot be understated, but the transportation plan for the stadium remains an ongoing process.

According to building permits the Las Vegas Monorail Co. submitted to the county last year, the monorail expansion project is valued at $23.6 million. The station would be located at Mandalay Bay’s Shoppes at Mandalay Place, according to permits.

Those permits are still being reviewed by the county, according to Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin, and construction cannot begin until they are approved.

MSG Sphere Station

With the addition of the Mandalay Bay station and a planned station at the MSG Sphere, the monorail system would be 5 miles long and connect 42,000 hotel rooms, three event arenas and hundreds of gaming venues, restaurants, retail and entertainment, as well as three convention centers.

The MSG Sphere station is expected to be 11,119 square feet and will take nine months to build. Neither a timeline nor a price tag was given for the project.

Once the monorail extension is complete, a good portion of the 20,000 people the Raiders expect to walk to the stadium on event days would likely use the monorail to get to Mandalay Bay station and exit to do the walk on Hacienda Avenue to the stadium.

If the proposed Mandalay Bay station and extension is not completed by August 2020, the closest monorail station to the Las Vegas stadium would be MGM Grand.

According to Google Maps, the walk from the MGM Grand to Las Vegas Boulevard and then Hacienda Avenue to the stadium would take approximately 26 minutes. The walk is reduced to just 10 minutes if it starts from Mandalay Bay. With average Las Vegas high temperatures of 103 degrees in August and 96 degrees in September, the extra 16 minutes spent in the desert heat might be less than desirable for some fans.

MGM Resorts International declined to comment on the proposed monorail extension and station that will be located on its Mandalay Bay property.

Project funding

Funding has been the main issue holding back the proposed project, which has been talked about since 2015. The project was given new life after the Raiders’ plans to move to Russell Road came to pass in 2016.

Las Vegas Monorail Co. repaid $216,671 on a $2.1 million loan taken from interest earned by an escrow account set up for the extension project, which was used for design and engineering costs related.

“The funds for the loan came from interest income on a $6 million escrow account that was funded by the Monorail Co.,” Kulin said.

In 2017, county commissioners voted to set aside $4.5 million a year that the Monorail Co. could ask to borrow, the money coming from excess tax revenue from resort corridors. The company has yet to apply to borrow any of those funds, Kulin said.

Funding for the project has yet to be secured by Monorail Co., which has attempted to secure $110 million in bonds for its expansion plans.

Company representative Ingrid Reisman declined to say whether the company secured those bonds or any details related to the financing.

“As for the financing of the entire project, which includes Mandalay Bay and a Sands Avenue station, details will be announced at the close of finances,” Reisman said. “Construction will begin shortly after financing closes, and the construction schedule will also be announced at that time.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. The MSG Sphere is a partnership between Las Vegas Sands and Madison Square Garden.

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