After weeks of speculation, developers have finally stated a site preference and cost for a proposed Oakland Raiders stadium in Las Vegas.
Now on the table is a 65,000-seat stadium on a parcel north of Russell Road and west of Interstate 15. Previously it was believed that the Bali Hai Golf Club was the leading contender, but that site is now second on the list.
Additionally, the cost has been identified, with the project estimated at $1.9 billion. Of that total price tag, $1.325 billion would be diverted to the stadium, with the remaining funds covering infrastructure and contingency costs, plus a $100 million practice facility. In recent weeks, the proposed cost had been estimated to come in between $1.7 billion and $2.1 billion.
What the developers in the project continue to seek is $750 million in public funds, which would be generated via hotel tax increase. Las Vegas Sands Corp and the Raiders have both outlined their respective contributions of $650 million and $500 million, but contend that the public portion will be necessary to complete the project. Otherwise, as Las Vegas Sands president and CEO Rob Goldstein, stated, it could be scrapped. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The developers reiterated that without $750 million in room tax funding, the financing plan will collapse. The committee previously had discussed a reduced public contribution of $550 million.
“(Sands Chairman and CEO) Sheldon (Adelson) would walk away from it and say, ‘We tried our best,’” Goldstein told the committee.
He also said the perception that $750 million in room tax revenue would be funneled to Adelson and the developers is inaccurate. The notion that the money is going to Adelson “is not only wrong, but stupid,” Goldstein told the committee.
The Raiders also made a presentation at the meeting that included images of the stadium and maps showing where it would sit on the top two sites. The presentation included projections of how much a visitor would pay if the room tax were increased to help fund the stadium.
A 0.7 percentage-point increase in the tax would produce $550 million for the project while a 0.88 percentage-point increase would raise $750 million. Based on a room rate of $109 a night, a visitor would pay $13.08 under the existing 12 percent room tax. A proposed 0.5 percentage-point increase in the tax to fund upgrades to the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion would add an additional 55 cents. The stadium tax would increase the room tax bill by 76 cents or 96 cents, depending on the level of funding.
A poll in late July showed some opposition to public funds for the proposal, with the specific question from KNTV and Rasmussen Reports asking if voters were for or against “the use of up to $500 million in state taxpayer money to help finance a stadium that would bring the NFL’s Raiders franchise to Las Vegas.” At that point the site, cost, and funding model were all in question.
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