Breaking News: The Toilets in the Raiders' $2 Billion Stadium Do, in Fact, Flush

Source - In what is the first “super” event that officials hope will take place in the nearly complete Allegiant Stadium, crews on Tuesday tested an important game-day feature — the plumbing system.

Stadium trade workers simulated game-day usage of the stadium’s 297 restrooms by 65,000 fans with what’s known as the “super flush” — flushing all 1,430 toilets and urinals at nearly the same time while water was running in all of the sinks.

In a video released by the Raiders, workers are seen setting up the test run of the sewage system by communicating via two-way radios to time the flushes and water usage. ...

“We’re going to try and overload the system,” Webb said. “I’m serious. We’re going to play out what happens during a sold-out NFL stadium.”

The successful test of the stadium’s plumbing system signals that the end of construction is near, as the $2 billion project’s July 31 completion date is just 44 days away.

You might be unimpressed by the engineering marvel that is getting 1,430 toilets and urinals to suck fresh pee down into some pipes all at the same time. Perhaps you want to be matter-of-fact about this and point out that a stadium that was built using five million hours of labor, has a 19 million pound retractable all natural grass field, 28,000 tons of structural steel, 28,000 sq. ft. of operable wall, 127 suites, 8,000 club seats and cost more than the military budget of most countries on Earth ought to, at the very bare minimum, take your beer-and-chili vomit away when you press the handle. But you'd be wrong to take this for granted. As Billy Zane put it to Kate Winslet, "You can be blase' about many things Rose, but not the fact a stadium toilet will whisk your shit away." 

Not to relate everything back to the Patriots, but allow me to relate everything back to the Patriots. And Massholes above a certain age know where I'm going with this. 

From the year the AFL began in 1960 until 1971, the Boston Patriots had no stadium to call their own. When they finally built one, it was a cheap, bare-bones, obsolete, Eastern Bloc-looking tenement slum named Schaefer Stadium, after Schaefer beer, the worst swill that has ever been brewed and put into cans. You'll note that as hipsters have brought back old defunct labels like Naragansett  and PBR, no one has demanded the return of this swamp water. Its slogan told you everything you needed to know: "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're havin' more than one!" Try slipping that one past Mothers Against Drunk Driving for a hot second. Oh, and I found our recently when I was talking about the place during a book signing (Cha-ching! Remember Father's Day!) that Schaefer was the one beer  not for sale at Schaefer Stadium. Nice marketing. 

Anyhoo ... the first event held at the stadium was a preseason game. And it was nothing short of a health crisis. The kinds of conditions that spread cholera and dysentery during disasters like The Great Stink of London in 1858. The toilets and urinals wouldn't flush. By midway through the 1st quarter, there was a two-inch high puddle of raw sewage in all the bathrooms. Men and boys were being directed into empty storage rooms to piss against the wall. There were reports of grown men squatting down in cardboard boxes to go No. 2. The only thing that didn't unleash a plague is the fact half the crowd of 60,000 never made it into the stadium because they managed to fuck up the traffic patterns worse than the plumbing. The people who were furious because their cars and trucks ran out of gas in the middle of the gridlock were actually the lucky ones. The Pats fans version of the living envying the dead. 

The now-New England Patriots were scheduled to open the season with four straight home games. So a huge chunk of the NFL schedule was in jeopardy because the Foxboro Board of Health made it clear they would not allow another crowd on the premises unless the franchise very literally got its shit together. 

So they held an event very much like the one the Allegiant Stadium construction crew just did. Only without 44 days to solve any problems. So all the pressure in the world riding on whether they had actual pressure. They lined up every available body they could and dispersed them throughout the building. Office workers. Scouts. Security personnel. Even some sportswriters. Then someone blew an airhorn and they all had to run from stall to stall, urinal to urinal, sink to sink, pressing levers and turning knobs, in order to prove to the authorities they weren't going to cause a pandemic.

It's a moment that lives in Patriots' lore as "The Royal Flush." And speaks as well as any other story just what an amateurish, penny-pinching, financially crippled operation they were for the better part of 40 years. Because bear in mind, this was about 2,300 years after the Romans built Aqua Appia, an aqueduct that was 10 miles long, dropped only 33 feet over its entire length, and brought 2.6 million cubic feet of water into the city. In other words, the Ancient Romans made the toilets work in 300 B.C., but in 1971, the Pats couldn't. 

So let's not take the fact the Raiders pulled this off for granted.