Roof Raising Begins at $2B Vegas Stadium


Crews are now in the process of lifting the multi-ton net of steel cables that will support the roof of Las Vegas’ $2 billion stadium, set to be the home of the National Football League’s Raiders.

This is the first step in the roofing process that will reportedly take weeks to complete.

Project Background

In January, officials with the project announced that the stadium was one-third complete and on budget, adding that policies were put in place for the venue’s massive grass tray system and diversity performance goals were well-exceeded by contractors.

Reportedly, Mortenson Construction and McCarthy Building Cos., head contractors on the project, had exceeded the percentage of women and minority workers that’s required by law.

According to the Benefits Oversight Committee, small business enterprise participation was at 19%, which exceeds the goal of 15%, with $159 million of the $843 million in subcontracts awarded to firms that qualify as small business. In addition, 14 women-owned firms received contracts and 72% of those are Nevada-based businesses.

A safety plan was also OK’d for the stadium’s 9,500-ton, movable natural grass field that will be moved onto the stadium floor from outside before every game.

The 4-foot-deep tray, which will be loaded with grass, sand, gravel and irrigation and drainage components, will roll in on 13 rails through a 14-by-240-foot opening in the stadium. Powered by 76 electric motors, the move will take about 90 minutes. (Arizona’s State Farm stadium also uses this feature.)

Prior to that, a big update for the project came in October 2018, when officials announced that workers had begun installing the 52 truss columns at the site.

The 52 steel beams will frame the exterior 65,000-seat indoor stadium and ultimately hold up its translucent polymer roof, which will rise about 200 feet. The columns weigh about 65 tons each.

“In order for it to hold up the roof and hold up the enormous ring beam that ties those stainless steel cables that support the ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, a fluorine-based polymer) roof, all of that is highly, highly precise,” Don Webb, chief operating officer of the Raiders’ construction subsidiary StadCo, told the Review-Journal.

Other design elements include:

  • Translucent stadium components around the building envelope will give the stadium a black appearance during the day but allow the inside lights to be visible from the outside at night;
  • Envelope ribbons will serve as ventilation and drain water from the roof; and
  • The north end of the stadium is slated to feature folding 80-by-120-foot lanai doors that open to a view of the Las Vegas Strip.

In February, PPG announced that it inked a multi-year corporate marketing agreement with the Raiders team. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the agreement did include that protective and decorative coatings from PPG will be featured in the new stadium.

Assembly of the net on the floor of the stadium has been in the works since August with the cables measuring about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter and some 800 feet long and as much as 24 tons.

In July, officials announced that $40 million in additions were approved, raising the overall budget to $1.9 billion. The additions include 20 more suites and a field-level club area.

At that point, $944.7 million had been spent on the project.

In September, officials reported on the measures being taken to secure the structure against earthquakes. The Review-Journal reports that the stadium is being built with “earthquake-friendly columns and bearings” attaching the roof to the main concourse.

The columns and bearings have about a 3-inch give side to side, 4 inches vertically and 1 inch front to back.

What Now

Assembly of the net on the floor of the stadium has been in the works since August with the cables measuring about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter and some 800 feet long and weighing as much as 24 tons.

Now, the net is being raised by a system of hydraulic lifts, which sets the material up for a process called pinning—when the cables are attached to the rim of the roof.

Officials noted to the Review-Journal that the final pinning is one of the most challenging steps as the cables have been manufactured to within seven-eighths of an inch to specifications.

The cables will eventually be raised into a crosshatch pattern 200 feet above the playing surface to support the ETFE roof.

Once the net is lifted, workers will reportedly begin working around the clock to set up the lowest levels of stadium seating, which require the installation of about 800 pieces of precast concrete.


Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Commercial Construction; ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE); NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.