Construction on the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium has official begun after a groundbreaking ceremony took place on Tuesday November 14th. The event was full of past and present members of the Raiders organisation, along with other NFL owners and commissioner Roger Goodell. The event took place with the lit-up Las Vegas strip providing a night-time backdrop, showing how incredible the view from the stadium will be.
To officially break the ground, owner Mark Davis was joined by Goodell and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. The trio used spades and Raiders-branded hard hats to officially shovel the first scoops of dirt at the site, just off interstate 15. Sadly, all three won’t be around to help with the remainder of the construction of the $1.9billion, 65,000-seat stadium that is due to open in 2020, as much as we might want to see them get their hands dirty.
Among the other guests for the ceremony were Patriots owner Robert Kraft – who publicly backed the move from the beginning – along with Stan Kroenke and Dean Spanos, owners of the Rams and Chargers, who have both just undergone their own relocations to Los Angeles. Former players were also in attendance, including hall of fame defensive end Howie Long of both the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders.
Current Raiders players were hard to find at the event, after the team has just comes off its bye week before heading to Mexico to play the Patriots. This is the second time the NFL is heading to Mexico, after the Raiders – hosting both times – won last year’s match-up 27-20 against the Houston Texans. This year’s team find themselves in a drastically different situation to last year, sitting at 4-5 and on the outside of the playoffs looking in past the seasons halfway stage.
It’s no surprise the Patriots (7-2) are favoured over the Raiders, with Vegas sportsbooks having the Patriots at 1/3 winners and the Raiders at 5/2. To cover the spread, the Raiders will need to win by over 6.5 points and the total game points must be over 53.5. Both teams have had exceptionally shaky defences this year, so it would be no surprise to see this game turn into a shootout.