Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

I Live Near The Raiders Stadium Site. They Are Endangering My Life — And Yours — By Continuing Work There

Despite a worker at the site testing positive for coronavirus, construction at the Raiders new stadium is being allowed to continue.
Despite a worker at the site testing positive for coronavirus, construction at the Raiders new stadium is being allowed to continue.
Photo: Getty

While most people in Nevada have been sheltering in place for weeks at this point, either by choice or by the mandate of Governor Steve Sisolak, somehow the building of a football stadium is still continuing.

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Even after a worker tested positive for COVID-19 this week, the governor’s office still considers this work “essential” as they “continue to consult with the medical advisory team and evaluate any new decisions that need to be made.”

I live down the street from the building site, and being close to a potential coronavirus hotspot is pretty creepy.

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When you think about the numbers and what is at risk, it seems counterintuitive for the NFL, the city and state to do this. There are now more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus in Nevada, 753 of those in Clark County, home of Sin City. All of Las Vegas has been ordered to be shut down ASAP! But, yeah, let’s keep building.

Allegiant Stadium isn’t going to be a 2,000-square foot house, it’ll be a state-of-the-art facility that seats 65,000. There are more than 2,000 people working on the site.

The public is putting up $750 million for this stadium, which has been nicknamed the Death Star. That’s not exactly a positive moniker given the ongoing pandemic, plus the plight of the airline industry in general, and Allegiant Travel specifically. Will that crappy airline survive this recession? Its stock (ALGT) is down 35 percent over the past month.

Billionaire Mark Davis is gouging fans with seat-licensing fees at Allegiant that run as high as $75,000 per, with season tickets ranging from $650 to $4,500. Vegas is a city of working-class people and most residents of Nevada will never in their lives be able to afford to see a game in that stadium.

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In absolutely no way is the construction of this stadium benefitting Las Vegas. How is it essential? So why is it still being built?

It’s no secret the NFL doesn’t care about workers’ health, but for the city of Las Vegas, Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Governor Sisolak, turning a blind eye is treacherous. Why are they betraying the health of their constituents? The governor’s executive order says construction can continue if social distancing is maintained. This seems like an idiotic loophole. How can these workers hear one another on a loud construction site from more than six feet away?

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It’s no longer, “Hey, buddy, hand me that hammer,” but, “Hey, buddy, throw me that hammer and sanitize it before you do.”

Another big project down the street, new casino Resorts World, was immediately shut down with the construction crew quarantined for two weeks after a positive case on their work site. So, yes, Nevada, let’s — rightfully — shut down construction for a building that will employ people 24 hours a day for the entire year, yet push through dangerous pandemic conditions on a venue that will host a handful of four-hour events throughout the year.

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Is the NFL too stupid to realize that their failure to act with preventative measures here risks enflaming the spread of the virus and further endangering their upcoming season? Allegiant isn’t the only stadium still being built, as work on SoFi Stadium, the soon-to-be-home of the Rams and Chargers, goes on in Los Angeles. Do they lack complete respect for humankind by forcing these workers to continue?

Our country is asking healthcare professionals to fight a war for us, while we sit on our couches. I have no complaints about following the rules. But the NFL doesn’t seem to think the rules apply to them.

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And our government officials are letting them endanger us all for the obscene profit of a few.

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