The Raiders new home is officially under construction.
While head coach Jon Gruden and his staff are preparing to lead the next generation of NFL stars in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, the rest of the decision makers are preparing for another major move. Monday afternoon, the team held an event in Henderson, Nevada, the site of the team’s future practice facility and headquarters. This groundbreaking ceremony provided artist renderings of the new facility and showed both players and city council members alike how the Raiders will be striving to improve the community.
This facility, which was called the finest in the league by team president Mark Badain, will feature three outdoor fields, 1 1/2 indoor fields, and over 300,000 square feet of space dedicated to making this franchise and the players better. As he explained during the event, Badain knows that this facility will be used by coaches as they spend 20 hours a day putting together game plans. Similarly, the players will train and study in Henderson as they attempt to get their minds and bodies prepared for the upcoming games. The goal is to make this facility the perfect breeding ground for success, whether physically or mentally.
Henderson mayor, Debra March, was one of the many city council members to be on hand for the event. She was a large factor in getting the team headquarters approved for Henderson after she helped convince the community that this facility would benefit the entire city with new jobs. As March explained during her speech, she is excited about the new jobs that will be created, but she hopes that the players and coaches will view Henderson as a permanent home for their families.
“The Raiders have committed $75 million, but I’m told it will be well beyond $75 million, that they are committing to this location in the first phase of this facility here. We anticipate that there will be more than 250 permanent jobs that will be created to run the team’s operations here in Henderson, and we look forward, and hope certainly, that the players will choose Henderson as a place to call home as well…”
Of course, this was an event put on by the Raiders, so they made some of the expected moves. After multiple speeches about the effect on the community and how the new facility will be a glorious addition in general, Badain and members of the Henderson city council donned custom Raiders hard hats and grabbed their official Raiders shovels. Once this quartet was in the position to dig the ceremonial dirt, the sound system began cranking out AC/DC’s “Back In Black.” That was the official sign that this event was put on by the team.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, this facility won’t be open until 2020 when the official ribbon cutting takes place. For now, the team will look to find a temporary home for the 2019 season. Whether they practice and play in London, San Diego, or San Antonio remains to be seen, but rest assured that the Raiders will be looking ahead to their future and the new facility in Henderson.