Las Vegas NFL Stadium Bill Passes State Legislature

Written By Brian Pempus on October 14, 2016
Nevada state capitol

[toc]Nevada lawmakers on Friday approved a plan to use $750 million in public money for a potential Las Vegas stadium for the Oakland Raiders.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1, will increase a hotel room tax by 0.88 percent in order to generate the funds. Supporters said the burden will fall primarily on tourists.

The plan for such a large public contribution was controversial, but lawmakers in the Senate approved it by a 16-5 vote earlier in the week.

Assembly members signed off by a 28-13 vote around noon on Friday after last-minute amendments pertaining to the construction process.

The stadium has the support of casino giants MGM ResortsWynn Resorts and, of course, Las Vegas Sands. Sheldon Adelson would invest $650 million and cover any cost overruns on the $1.9 billion facility.

The Raiders and the NFL would contribute $500 million.

Stadium developers said they wouldn’t budge on the $750 million public contribution.

Vote delayed early Friday

Amid discussions that ran late on Thursday and resumed early Friday, a study surfaced from the Nevada Department of Transportation showing that the stadium would accelerate plans for $900 million in freeway projects.

Though the work was already planned and NDOT said additionally funding wouldn’t be needed, it did create a wrinkle in the discussions.

NDOT would have to fast track certain projects because the stadium could open in 2019.

Despite the flurry of passionate rhetoric coming out of Carson City, the dust settled and the bill moved over to Governor Brian Sandoval for his signature. He and Raiders owner Mark Davis are expected to sign it together Monday.

Raiders still need the approval to move

NFL owners meet in January to decide whether the Raiders can relocate to Clark County.

At least 24 of the 32 owners must allow it. According to reports, Steve Wynn told Silver State lawmakers this week that he’s confident the NFL would let the Raiders move.

According to Wynn, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots boss Robert Kraft personally told him “the NFL is ready to do it if Nevada steps up in Las Vegas with a stadium.”

At a mid-September event to celebrate the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed the sentiment that he wasn’t thrilled about the Raiders moving.

“You never want to see a community lose their franchise once, much less twice,” he said. However, he didn’t speak in opposition to a team in Las Vegas.

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Las Vegas site needs to be selected

Though they are several locations in the mix for the 65,000-seat stadium, the two leading sites are the Bali Hai Golf Club and a 62-ace site northwest of Interstate 15 and Russell Road.

Both spots are on the south end of the Strip near the airport. Mandalay Bay casino is also close to the proposed sites.

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Brian Pempus

Brian Pempus has worked in the gaming industry since 2009. He is a Penn State grad and lives in Cincinnati, OH.

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