The Nevada Legislature approved a hike in the Clark County hotel-room tax, clearing the way for funding of a new 65,000-seat Oakland Raiders stadium to be built on the south end of the Strip.
The measure, which is expected to raise $750 million (which would back bonding on the project), also included $1.9-million in new funding for the Las Vegas Convention Center. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has pledged to sign the funding bill From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“Nevada has a past unlike any other state, but it is the ability to write a new narrative and redefine our state’s image that makes us so unique and so capable of innovating once again through the new Nevada,” Sandoval said in a statement. “This is the beginning of the next chapter of southern Nevada’s continued dominance in tourism, conventions and hospitality and presents an exciting opportunity for UNLV.”…
Raiders officials had indicated that if the stadium deal passed, they would present a plan and officially announce their intentions to move to Las Vegas at next week’s NFL owners meeting in Houston. A vote on relocation could come at a January owners meeting, also in Houston.
Andy Abboud, vice president of government relations and community development for Las Vegas Sands, who led negotiations on behalf of the Adelson family, said: “At the end of the day, the weight of the arguments and the economic opportunity clearly carried the day.
“It was a lot of hard work, but it was also one of the most incredible coalitions in the history of the state of Nevada,” Abboud said. “You had everyone calling legislators. Not only was Las Vegas Boulevard and the Strip consolidated on this, but all the building construction unions were behind this and even people were calling from the Tesla organization, Faraday (Future) and Switch. It’s become a great source of community pride and I think everybody should be happy for that and proud of that.”
There were some changes to the legislation along the way. The most important: the addition of UNLV into the stadium governance and the ability for UNLV to receive sales-tax funding for a new stadium should the Raiders effort fall short.
With the public funding in place, the next two steps are clear: Finalize the funding plan and then negotiate with the NFL for permission for a Raiders move. The Raiders have pledged $500 million toward the stadium, with the Las Vegas Sands pledging $750 million more. Whether the NFL will go ahead approving a Raiders move at league meetings this week remains to be seen: Commissioner Roger Goodell has made a point of wooing an Oakland stadium plan in past weeks.
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