A proposal to slash the public contribution toward a new $1.45-billion Las Vegas domed stadium from $700 million to $550 million didn’t excite members of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, as the effort to bring the Oakland Raiders to Sin City hit its first serious roadblock.
The committee, charged with mapping out public funding of the new Vegas stadium along with potential funding of a Las Vegas Convention Center expansion, put off any decision on either proposal. The committee must pass along its decision on both topics to Gov. Brian Sandoval and state lawmakers by the end of July. And although the recommendations of the committee are technically nonbinding, they will carry a lot of weight with legislators.
Basically, the committee looked at the funding plan for the stadium, added $50 million for land acquisition, decreased the amount of the public funding by $150 million, increased the private funding from $650 million to $900 million (with the Sands portion rising to $500 million), and decreasing the hotel tax, both in rate and in the number of hotels affected.
The proposal was somewhat a surprise, as some of the affected parties didn’t get a chance to see it before the meeting. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The stadium’s development partners, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Majestic Realty and the Oakland Raiders, also seemed wary of the revised plan, noting they got their first look at it late Wednesday afternoon. The NFL’s Raiders have vowed to seek relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas if the stadium is approved….
The new tax revenue would be controlled by a seven-member stadium authority board, which would spend it in six ways: $27.5 million annually on construction debt payments; $2 million on stadium operational costs; $5 million for a stadium capital improvement fund; $3.5 million to UNLV to compensate the university for lost revenue at Sam Boyd Stadium, which would lose special events and Rebel football games to the dome; $4 million to the Metropolitan Police Department to add officers on the Strip; and whatever money is left would support a Clark County event fund….
The proposal also includes an option to build a smaller stadium for UNLV if the Raiders cannot relocate to Las Vegas. The Raiders would have 18 months from the approval of the agreement to gain NFL approval for relocation, after which UNLV would have 24 months to raise $200 million to utilize the room-tax funding. Room tax revenue collections would start as soon as an agreement is approved.
The committee isn’t scheduled to meet until July 11 to make final recommendations. Expect lots of bluster and politicking before then.
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