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Oakland Raiders’ Lease in Las Vegas a Work in Progress

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For the Oakland Raiders and the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, there are several areas in their ongoing lease negotiations that have to be resolved. 

The Raiders had their request to relocate to Las Vegas approved by the NFL in March, and the stadium is still expected to open by the 2020 NFL season. A major task that remains, however, is finalizing the stadium lease agreement, something that the team and the authority are working to wrap up.

As noted here last week, the terms of the lease are still a work in progress. The two sides have been reported to be looking to wrap negotiations on 12 stadium-related documents–including the lease–this fall, thus ensuring that construction of the stadium stays on its projected timeline.

Officials say that many key components for the agreement are in place, but there are still some areas that need to be addressed. Among them is the terms for funding eventual capital improvements to the stadium, which a current lease draft states must involve the company that ultimately manages the facility. There are still some unanswered questions remaining in that area, however, including the exact formula that will be put into place. More from The Las Vegas Sun:

The events company — called StadCo in the lease — must contribute money into a capital fund each year to prepare for eventual construction and repair needs as the stadium ages. The money must be “in an annual amount so that amounts on deposit in the StadCo Capital Projects Fund are sufficient to pay the expenses necessary for StadCo to perform its obligations under this Agreement as to Capital Matters pursuant to the following formula.”

The following formula does not exist yet though. Its place in Section 7.8 reads “INSERT FORMULA.”

From the authority side, money generated by SB1’s increased hotel room tax will in part fund an annual $5 million contribution toward a stadium capital improvement reserve. Despite the Raiders holding primary responsibility for funding improvements, Hill identified the need to clarify who contributes what money toward future capital projects as an important open issue.

“That includes the thought that the (authority) capital fund would contribute toward the maintenance,” [authority chair Steve] Hill said. “I think it’s important the stadium authority address the broad disparity in how those decisions can be made moving forward.”

The Sun’s report as also addresses a few other areas, including renewal rights, the potential use of arbitration to resolve disputes, and a shared-use agreement that will allow UNLV football to use the stadium for its home games.

The two sides have been working since January to modify an early draft submitted by the Raiders, and those discussions will need to continue. The components of the lease will offer their own complexities, and the Raiders and the authority will have to work through some of these uncertainties over the next few months.

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