Nevada oversight committee elections unanimously to recommend $750 m in public funding for 65,000 -seat domed venue in Las Vegas
A plan to build an NFL stadium in Las Vegas and entice the Looter from Oakland intersected a major impediment Thursday when a Nevada oversight committee voted unanimously to recommend $750 m in public funding for the project.
The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee recommended creating the hotel taxation in the Las Vegas area to help pay for a 65,000 -seat domed venue that was promoted and would be partially financed by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Supporters still need to win over the governor, the Legislature and three-quarters of NFL owners to stimulate the project a reality, but its a significant milestone for a city thats never had a professional football squad and has been working on the Looter bargain for months.
We get an NFL team, and that is a significant step forward for Las Vegas and the community, committee chairperson Steve Hill said about the projects potential. Those squads bring the community together. Were going to have people wearing Looter jerseys and high-fiving one another … Thats not something you can set a number on.
The Adelson family plans to put $650 m toward the project, which would also be home to UNLV football, while the Raiders plan to kick down $500 m. Sands officials said they dont want to return any gains to the public because theyd be inducing little or no money on the stadium. Theyre also committing to fund infrastructure improvements and cost overruns.
Opponents question whether its appropriate to put public dollars toward research projects spearheaded by one of the richest humen in the world. They also wonder whether the bonds financed through the project will set taxpayers at risk in an economic downturn or if tax revenue underperforms.
Stadium supporters drove a hard bargain with the committee, which included business leaders and elected official. The Las Vegas Sands said theyd walk away from negotiations if the public put in less than $750 m, and the company fought to protect themselves from any future taxes targeting the team.
Public pressure mounted, too. Union advocates wearing Raiders gear held tailgate parties outside each of the committees meetings, and cheerleaders in silver and black flanked the entryways to the meeting on Thursday. Electronic billboards along the interstate urged people to hold politicians accountable on the stadium bargain and recommended the hashtag Dont Screw This Up NV.
It was unclear when Republican governor Brian Sandoval might call lawmakers into special session to consider the deal, although supporters want it as soon as is practicable so they can pitching the deal to NFL owneds ahead of their January meeting and potential team relocation vote.
Read more: www.theguardian.com