Hard Knocks of the Build Phase
By Jake Ronza, Customer Success Manager at Pype
July 31, 2019
If you polled a group “Family Feud” style about their favorite season, the top four answers would be the expected “Spring,” “Summer,” “Fall,” “Winter.” Among my friends, though, it’s “Wedding Season” and “Football Season.” And, as we’re almost through wedding season, I’ve set my sights on football. The ticker-tape blurbs and minicamp headlines hint at a return of not just football, but my other annual TV companion: HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
The show gives NFL fans a behind-the-scenes look into one team’s training camp leading up to the regular season. This year they’re following the Oakland Raiders as they relocate to Las Vegas (becoming the Las Vegas Raiders), and current events imply that the Silver and Black will not disappoint. I mean, just think of the drama for this season! Jon Gruden’s redemption arc after ditching the booth for the sidelines in a lackluster first season; the Old-Guard Derek Carr facing a whirlwind of questions surrounding his leadership and play; the fiery prima donna Antonio Brown, a newcomer to the team with something to prove. And no show would be complete without an antagonist: the loose cannon Vontaze Burfict and his complicated history with these players he now has to work with!
This is the best line-up for Hard Knocks we’ve seen in years. As Sin City prepares to represent Raider Nation, it got me thinking about the Las Vegas Stadium and the hard knocks the construction crew faces on site, only 62 acres west of Mandalay Bay.
This stadium is planned to be 10 stories tall, domed with a transparent ETFE (corrosion resistant plastic) roof, clad in silver and black, and features a gigantic side window that opens to a view of the Las Vegas Strip. A project of this caliber, even without the public scrutiny, would have any PM calling audibles left and right, engineers adjusting routes on the fly, and subs negotiating their way to a contract extension. Even when budgeted at $1.8 billion, this stadium would give any GC a run for their money, especially with a looming substantial completion date of July 31, 2020—just in time for the 2020 NFL season.
And to make matters worse, the Raiders are currently embroiled in a legal battle with the City of Oakland, meaning the pressure is high for ownership and the two GCs (JV between Mortenson and McCarthy Construction) to meet building and municipal requirements in Las Vegas. With the Oakland City Council hoping to net millions in damages to pay off approximately $80 million in debt remaining from renovations to their old stadium, the “Coliseum,” the Raiders can’t afford to make any mistakes or miss requirements in their new stadium.
Lucky for the Raiders, McCarthy has been using Pype since 2017 and as an enterprise client, was able to bring AutoSpecs to the team from kickoff—and Mortenson became an enterprise client soon after (clearly AutoSpecs scored some points). With the project in the public eye and no second chances, the team is relying on Pype to help them maintain contract compliance.
That’s a big responsibility, but our platform is definitely up to the task of turning fantasy football into reality for the Raiders. I can’t wait to see the finished stadium, and in the meantime, I’ll be getting my popcorn ready for episode one of Oakland’s final season, debuting on August 6th, 2019.