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Sunday, June 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Nevada Calls Special Session — on Football

CARSON CITY, Nev. (CN) — Whether the Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas may be determined by a special session of the Nevada Legislature that begins Monday.

Gov. Brian Sandoval called the special session to approve or deny public funding for a proposed $1.9 billion covered stadium capable of seating 65,000.

If approved, a 0.88 percent hike in room taxes would provide about $750 million in public funding for the proposed stadium.

The room tax toady is 10 percent to 12 percent, depending on room type. The increase would bring in about $1 per room per day, and enable a 33-year financing deal for the proposed $750 million in public funding for stadium construction.

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has pledged another $500 million, and Las Vegas Sands principal owner Sheldon Adelson and development partner Majestic Realty have promised $650 million for stadium construction and an indoor practice facility.

For the Raiders to move to Las Vegas, 24 of the 32 NFL team owners will have to OK the move. Davis has said the decision will probably have to be made this year.

The Raiders will play in Oakland this season and the next two, but Davis said he'll need to know by the end of the year whether a stadium will be built in Las Vegas to have time to get NFL approval for a move and to plan it.

Meanwhile, NFL Hall-of-Famer and former Raider Ronnie Lott is among those seeking a new stadium deal that would keep the Raiders in Oakland.

The ad hoc Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee has spent the past year looking into potential infrastructure improvements designed to boost tourism in Southern Nevada. Last month it unanimously recommended a modest increase in room taxes to help pay for the proposed stadium and expansion of Las Vegas Convention Center. Sandoval created the committee in July 2015 to improve tourism infrastructure.

Whether the Raiders move to Las Vegas or not, the Infrastructure Committee recommended that a new stadium be built to replace Sam Boyd Stadium, which is nearly 40 years old and ranked among the nation's worst stadium venues.

Sam Boyd Stadium is several miles east of Las Vegas Strip and the UNLV campus, and the university wants one closer to home.

The UNLV offered a recently purchased 42-acre lot west of the university and north of McCarran International Airport, but that faces strong opposition due to traffic impacts on airport operations and possible safety issues.

Several other sites also have been proposed, with Cashman Field north of downtown, the Bali Hai Golf Club, and a nearby 62-acre lot close to the Mandalay Bay casino among likely candidates.

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