Gubernatorial candidate would withdraw state support for $2B Las Vegas stadium
- Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz said that if he is elected governor of Nevada in this year's election, he will not approve potential funding for infrastructure that would support the $2 billion Raiders stadium in Las Vegas stadium unless the NFL team agrees to a new deal in which the state takes back $750 million it has committed to the project, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- Schwartz said he would rather see the money, funded by a new Clark County, Nevada, hotel room tax, go toward higher teacher salaries and education savings accounts. The Nevada Department of Transportation is planning approximately $900 million of work around the stadium beginning in 2020 or 2021, pending the agency's ability to secure funding.
- Bonds have been sold to fund the project based on the future hotel tax revenue. Steve Hill, CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the 2016 law that created the tax had bipartisan support and any attempt to withdraw state support would "tarnish Nevada's reputation."
Not only has the state committed $750 million, but it was a critical part of the deal to bring the Raiders from California to Las Vegas. The team's owners made it very clear in early negotiations that without that level of financial support, they would look for alternative sites for the new stadium. It's difficult to imagine that the Raiders would agree to any deviation from the agreement in place, particularly because the construction team has been selected and work has begun.
Since the infrastructure work around the stadium isn't scheduled to start for a few years, it's conceivable that a new governor could wield enough influence to stop, or at last interfere, with funding. However, when the NDOT first announced the scope of work near the new venue, it stressed that reorganization of highway interchanges, direct access ramps and carpool lanes was an obvious benefit to local citizens and not just the Raiders.
Federal lawmakers also tried to take a swipe at how local governments fund professional sports stadiums – the Raiders venue included – in the run-up to tax reform last year. Tax-exempt bonds like the ones Nevada authorized were on the chopping block in the U.S. House version of the bill after lawmakers complained that this type of financing had cheated the federal government out of $40 million of tax revenue. The final version, signed by President Donald Trump in December, kept that option.
- Las Vegas Review-Journal Governor candidate wants to stop Las Vegas Raiders stadium deal
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