Seven Scenes From Las Vegas Stadium Groundbreaking

The new Raiders stadium is for real, and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.

When it comes to pie-in-the-sky Las Vegas construction projects, the safest bet has always been to believe it’s for real when you see shovels in the ground, and even that’s no guarantee.

But you’d better believe the new Raiders stadium (known as Las Vegas Stadium, for now) is for real. We’ve got the pictures to prove it.

If your commute doesn’t take you past the empty lot west of Mandalay Bay on I-15, you might have missed Monday’s celebratory groundbreaking for the team’s new $1.9 billion home ($750 million courtesy of taxpayers, but you knew that).

Gov. Brian Sandoval, Clark County commissioner (and gubernatorial candidate) Steve Sisolak and Mayor Carolyn Goodman were among the state and local reps joining Raiders owner Mark Davis, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a number of Raiders alums and emcee George Lopez for the ceremony.

Here are seven takeaways.

Football fields are much bigger on television.

The site is about 62 acres, and aerial glimpses show just how little land the field itself will occupy. Also, if you’ve ever wondered what some of the most valuable land in Nevada looks like, that’s it right there.

The 1 October victims remembered.

The celebratory tone of the evening took a back seat to a somber tribute for the victims of the 1 October attack on the Las Vegas Strip, with 58 columns of light shining behind the stage. The Raiders, who made a point to commend Las Vegas’ first responders and community spirit, would do well to have a permanent memorial somewhere at the stadium.

Labor is happy.

The stadium will mean jobs, something that labor unions have touted since the project’s inception. Laborers made their presence known throughout the evening’s festivities.

Shovels in the ground.

Not these shovels—these are just ceremonial. But these commemorate what everyone in attendance agreed is a game-changing project for Las Vegas.

Sisolak gets the spotlight.

One of those shovels is likely to go on a wall in the office of Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who has a small collection from various Strip projects. The Democrat was an early champion for the Raiders stadium project, and you can bet that $750 million tax subsidy is going to come up in the 2018 gubernatorial primary.

Goodell can’t get out of his own way.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has taken a lot of abuse from sports media and NFL owners—and here’s some more. Learn to say the name of the state correctly! It’s not Nev-ah-da, as you said from the podium on Monday night. Granted, the error is not as severe as some other controversies during your watch, but it really irks this town.

The Raiders are coming.

As part of the ceremony, the Raiders premiered a sizzle reel with all the fervor of a city competing for Amazon (maybe a little more, if you’ve seen some of those videos). If you didn’t believe it before and you’re still hedging your bet, you can rest assured, the Raiders are coming.

Otherwise, some very rich and powerful people are going to have egg on their faces. Bigly.