In a unanimous vote on Thursday, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee approved a $750 million public funding proposal for a $1.9 billion NFL stadium in Las Vegas.
The vote is the first step in the controversial plan to build a new 65,000-seat domed stadium in preparation for the move by the Oakland Raiders from the NFL franchise’s current home, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, to Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The Nevada oversight committee recommended increasing the hotel tax in Las Vegas to help pay for the stadium, which was promoted by Sheldon Adelson. The billionaire casino mogul would put up $650 million to partially finance the project, while $500 million would be contributed by the Raiders.
According to the report, officials with Adelson’s company, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, said they don’t want any of the profits to be returned to the public because they’d make little or no money on the new stadium. Sands officials are also committing to bankroll construction cost overruns as well as infrastructure improvements at the site, which has yet to be determined.
The proposal now goes to the office of Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, where the decision of whether or not to call a special legislative session to finalize the plan will be made. If the deal garners support from the Legislature, the Raiders will still need 75 percent of NFL owners to sign off on the deal at their annual meeting in January to make the relocation a reality. The move would be a significant one for Sin City, which has yet to be home to a professional football team and has been hard at work on the deal for months. Commenting on the project’s potential, committee chairman Steve Hill said, “We get an NFL team, and that is a significant step forward for Las Vegas and the community,” and, “Those teams bring the community together. We’re going to have people wearing Raiders jerseys and high-fiving each other … That’s not something you can put a number on,” according to the news agency.
Plans for the proposed $1.9 billion structure on Russell Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, which would also be home to UNLV Football, were recently released and according to the report from Yahoo Finance, the new stadium would feature a retractable roof and a regulation-size field overlooked by raked seating and leisure areas.
While a site has yet to be selected, a location has been narrowed down to two locations; one a 62-acre site between Russell Rd. and Hacienda Ave just west of I-15 and the Mandalay Bay casino; and land currently occupied by the Bali Hai golf course, located south of Mandalay Bay between Las Vegas Blvd. and I-15.