KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two Kansas City architecture firms crossed over from Chiefs Kingdom into enemy territory to build an incredible sports facility for the Las Vegas Raiders.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Paul Griesemer, associate vice president at architecture firm HNTB.
For Manica Architecture and HNTB, the end of a long road leads from Kansas City to Las Vegas. These two local companies took the NFL to the entertainment capital of the world.
The Raiders played their first game inside the Allegiant Stadium on Monday.
For David Manica, it’s a chance to finally show off four years of hard work.
“It was really an exciting project architecturally because we got to redefine what the Raiders meant in Las Vegas,” said Manica, president and owner of Manica Architecture.
They combined historic and futuristic details to create a black, sleek and modern stadium.
“It looks mean and aggressive, hopefully a little bit foreboding to the visitors that come and play there. But it’s also a really comfortable building, really close to the action, a lot of sort of comfortable and new cutting edge amenities,” Manica said.
Some signature elements include the retractable field that supports natural grass on a 19 million-pound moving tray.
“So the field rolls out under the stadium and docks out, outside basically in the parking lot,” Manica said.
On the side of the stadium is a retractable wall that opens up to a perfect view of the Las Vegas strip.
If you look up, there’s the Al Davis Memorial Torch, too. It’s the largest 3-D printed object in the world right now.
“We make these buildings part of the community,” Griesemer said. “They’re reflective of the teams in their communities, so every one has to be special. Every one has to be specific.”
And what’s Vegas without a nightclub. They put one at the end zone with views of the field. It’s also open on non-game days.
“You can actually have your feet on the field and still be in the nightclub experience,” Manica said.
“It’s so exciting,” Griesemer said. “I wish I could be there!”
Sadly, fans aren’t allowed inside this season because of the pandemic.
“Mark Davis was adamant that he didn’t want to open his grand vision of his facility in a new community and have to tell most of the people that they couldn’t experience it,” Griesemer said.
As these KC architects watch the reveal from their couches in Chiefs Kingdom, Manica said that just leaves another good thing to look forward to next year.
“So in a way we have two opening nights,” Manica said. “One this year on TV and one next year in person.”