LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- It was instant chemistry. From the very first meeting, it seemed like FOX5 and the Raiders just clicked philosophy-wise as a company structure, and the personalities from both sides meshed. Las Vegas Raiders President Marc Badain began the conversation talking about how FOX5 jumped on board at the start and never got off.
HOME SINCE DAY ONE
"Well you guys have been with us since the beginning," Badain said. "You were at the SYNTEC meetings, you were at all of the votes, the legislative vote and the league vote. You’ve been at the games, you’ve been at the home games, you’ve been at the road games, you were at the groundbreaking. So, there isn’t really a part of this. There really hasn’t been a part of this project that you haven’t been a part of since day one."
Badain said the support from management, talent and support staff at FOX5 forged a "spectacular partnership."
"You’ve gotten to know the organization well," Badain said. "Mark Davis and everyone that works there and the team because you come to the games, and you really feel like part of the family. It’s been four years, but it feels a lot longer, and that loyalty means a lot to the Davis family and the Raider organization."
Badain said FOX5's involvement in the community has shaped the relationship between the Raiders and the station.
"There’s so much content that we do together. In the community, you support our events and we support yours," Badain said. "I actually asked Rosie Bohn, our Senior Vice President of Community Relations, to send me just a couple of bullet points of things we’ve done together, and she sent me four pages. We don’t have time to read all of them, but it’s an indication of what we’ve done together over the last four years and how we’ve been a part of each others organizations."
A RAIDERS HISTORY
Badain has a storied history with the Raiders. He began his career as a ball boy with Mark Davis.
"It all starts with him (Mark Davis)," Badain said. "You’ve gotten to know Mark and what kind of person he is. He’s genuine, he’s sincere and he does things for the right reasons. That permeates the entire organization."
EMBRACING LAS VEGAS
"The community has been through a lot, and we’ve been through a lot with the community," Badain said. "But it really starts with Mark, and you’ve heard him talk about the public-private partnership and the value of that.
The focal point of the Raiders will be Allegiant Stadium. It will be considered the crown jewel of NFL stadiums when it opens. Badain gave us insight into what fans will get once inside, with an update on construction timelines.
"It's a gorgeous addition to the skyline," Badain said. "Vegas should be very proud of that and proud of what that building stands for and what it’s going to do as an economic engine and an economic stimulus going forward."
But the construction process has faced a number of obstacles amid construction. Building a stadium, a project that can take 4-5 years, should be completed in 31 months.
"Certainly there has been a number of challenges," Badain said. "That’s to be expected. We are still on track. We’re about 80 days out for a July 31 completion date. A lot of credit goes to the workforce here in Las Vegas and to the Moretensen/McCarthy joint venture."
THE NFL EXPERIENCE - A STRIP-SIDE VIEW
Badain said being the last of 32 teams to build a stadium has actually been a blessing, using what has been done to inform the future.
"We’ve had a chance to see what’s worked at other stadiums, what we liked and what we didn’t like and then Mark was really the vision behind that with the architecture team. But you start with the basics like ingress, egress, bathrooms, concession stands, all of the things that make your game day experience a positive one. We’ve engineered around that."
Allegiant will house about 22,000 televisions, with a great view from every seat, Badain said.
"We didn’t over-engineer the building, Badain said. "We didn’t overbuild, so the building has an intimate feeling to it and even though there’s 65,000 people in there, there really is no bad seat, and you have the most spectacular view in the National Football League - which is the Strip."
ON THE HORIZON - HENDERSON, HQ AND PRACTICE FACILITY
The next part of the evolution of the Las Vegas Raiders is the completion of the Henderson facility, the team headquarters and practice facility. That is coming up fast and then the process really begins about moving everything from the Bay Area down here and finally getting a permanent shop set up.
"It’s been a challenge to have half of your organization in one market and half in the other," Badain said. "I think everyone is excited to be under one roof. I know the team and the coaches, I know Jon himself is pretty amped to get here and pretty impatient about getting here. He knows what lies in store in the future and he’s really excited about it."
According to Badain, everything was designed for the team to "maximize their efficiency" at each facility.
"It’s beyond state of the art, and it’s going to be a great recruiting tool and it’s a beautiful facility, another great addition to the landscape here in Henderson," Badain said.
HOME MEANS NEVADA
As Las Vegas is getting used to being a major league sports city, people are figuring out it's about as much being a part of the community as it is wins and losses. There's a certain prominence that comes with being an NFL city and Badain is ready for the move.
"I think one thing we can’t lose sight of is that Las Vegas is now one of 30 cities with an NFL team," Badain said. "That’s a really big deal and something to be proud of as a community."
The Raiders have been in a position help the community financially, by donating funds to help combat coronavirus and supporting local initiatives.
"When you start talking about awareness and the power of the Raider brand, both in this market and nationally, and you combine that with the power of the NFL, and now you bring that together with the power of Las Vegas and the global reach that you have, you can do a lot of good," Badain said. "You can bring a lot of awareness to the community and bring a lot of awareness to people in need and we’ve been able to do that together."
"I think people have misperceptions about this community. That’s what I’ve seen," Badain said. "Everybody has a stereotype of what living in Vegas is like and it couldn’t be more wrong. This community is very resilient and very tight knit. They support one another no matter the circumstance and we’ve been a part of that, and we’ve been able to see it and it’s going to be great for the future."
The positivity that radiates from Las Vegas has not been lost on Badain.
"I moved here a little over a year ago. It’s been a great move for the family. It’s been a great move for all of the families that have come here and what this market can provide for you in terms of a lifestyle and all of the outdoor activities and what you can do from a housing perspective and obviously there’s no commute. You guys talk about having traffic here but you don’t have traffic here. It’s a much easier lifestyle than what people are used to in California and people are really excited about it," Badain said.
The Raiders have also been misunderstood as a team.
"These two entities blend very well together," Badain said. "We’re both a little misunderstood and a little bit rebellious. But very positive and community-minded and very focused on doing the right thing. I think Las Vegas and the Raiders, it was a great marriage and a great blending of two brands and what we’ve built at Allegiant Stadium and what it’s going to mean to this market as we come out of the economic challenges that we’re going to be facing, the stimulus that the stadium is going to provide is going to be great for the community."