Legislature Approves Las Vegas Stadium For Raiders - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Legislature Approves Las Vegas Stadium For Raiders

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Three days after the Nevada Senate passed a bill that approves $750 million of public money to build an NFL stadium off the Las Vegas strip, the Assembly approved the plan with a bipartisan 28-13 vote.  Governor Brian Sandoval is expected to sign it into law in Las Vegas, Monday.  The $1.9 billion domed stadium will have 65,000 seats, and will be the new home of the UNLV Rebels, and clears the way for the Oakland Raiders to move to southern Nevada.

"Vegas is definitely a tourist destination and we just put ourselves on the top by getting a football stadium," Assem. Michele Fiore, R-District 4 said. "People fly to Texas to see the Dallas Cowboys. People are now going to use flying to Las Vegas to see an NFL football game as a two-in-one. They get to see the football game, an NFL football game, and be in Las Vegas."

Some lawmakers voiced their opposition, after the proposal passed, and many say the bill was rushed through without giving it proper deliberation.  The public portion of the bill will be paid with an increase to the Clark County hotel room tax, which will go up to approximately 13.4 percent.  Projections show the stadium and Las Vegas Convention Center improvements will create $85 million in annual tax revenue, but opponents are skeptical.

"I'd love to get the stadium, I'd love to get the Raiders but when you look at the financial arrangements in this, the profits all go to the Raiders and the liabilities all go to the taxpayer," Assem. Ira Hansen, R-District 32 said. "It makes no business sense, whatsoever. Any business person, looking at this, would laugh."

Assemblywoman Amber Joiner says she could not approve $750 million when there are so many other needs for the state.  While the stadium will be publicly owned, she says she the public should get to share in the profits, including naming rights.

"Over the last 30 years, there's a pretty dismal history of publicly financed stadiums," Joiner, D-District 24 said. "The public is left holding the bag and especially ones like this where it's general obligation bonds. If those room tax incomes fail, the county is actually on the hook to pay those bonds back."

Like many senators, a high number of assembly members ultimately made their decisions based on job creation.  25,000 construction jobs and 14,000 permanent jobs are expected to result from the stadium and convention center.

"It'll be good jobs, high-paying jobs, there will be medium-sized jobs and so forth," Randy Kirner, R-District 26 said. "So, I think it's good to put our people back to work."

"A lot of times, people feel that it's the money," Richard Carrillo, D-District 18 said. "It's always an issue but sometimes you have to kind of put people in front of policy."

Experts say the stadium will cost about $50 million per year.  Some lawmakers like the plan because it will be funded by tourism taxes for tourism infrastructure.  The only Nevadans who will pay the tax are those who stay within the stadium district, which has a 25-mile radius in the Las Vegas area.  Some of the revenue will go to the state general fund.  About one-third of all money will go to education funding.

"Us, in the north, we have basically no skin in the game, other than the vast amounts of money that we'll receive out of taxes that are coming north, from the south, as this stadium grows," Assem. Jim Wheeler, R-District 39 said. "So, I'm happy with it."

The NFL owners are meeting, Tuesday, when the discussion of the Raiders relocation will likely begin.

"I would like to thank Governor Sandoval, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, and the members of the Nevada Legislature on this historic day, " Mark Davis, Raiders owner said. "All parties have worked extremely hard to develop and approve this tremendous stadium project that will serve as a proud new home for the entire Raider Nation."

Once the Raiders officially petition to move to Las Vegas, the team will still need 24 of 32 NFL owners to approve the relocation.

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