In an interview earlier this week with the Las Vegas Sun, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval stated that he feels the Oakland Raiders could possibly move to Las Vegas. Sandoval stated that the owner of the NFL team, Mark Davis, is seriously interested in moving his team and the governor agrees.
Sandoval did not discuss his actual conversation with Davis in the interview but did talk to the football team owner about how serious he was about coming to Las Vegas and he was impressed with their conversation. It had been speculated that Davis was not sincere about possibly moving to Las Vegas but was using the city as a point of leverage to get officials in California to approve a new stadium by using public funding.
The conversation taking place in Las Vegas has been centered around a proposal that would see the Las Vegas Sands Corp building a $1.3 billion stadium on a section of land consisting of 42 acres. This land is located on Tropicana Avenue which is near Koval Lane. The land was purchased by UNLV earlier in 2016.
If the deal were to be finalized, the stadium would be home to UNLV football games as well as larger events. However, talk has quickly escalated to the Raiders playing at the new stadium as well. Just days after the Las Vegas Sands reported their interested in the stadium project, the CEO of Sands, Sheldon Adelson, met with Davis. Davis has since met with officials of UNLV and toured Sam Boyd Stadium as well as had the meeting with Sandoval.
Public officials as well as residents of Las Vegas are seemingly open to the idea of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, having the ability to have an NFL franchised team in the area, as they have no major league sports teams currently. However, there has also been criticism due to the fact that the Majestic and Sands want to see public funds covering some of the cost of the project.
In earlier reports, it was estimated that the cost from the public would be around $780 million. Currently, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee is weighing the issue of funding for the project. This group was created in 2015 by Sandoval to evaluate the area’s needs for infrastructure projects for tourists. It is believed this committee will be making recommendations for the project this summer.
In opposition, the CEO of MGM Resorts Jim Murren, has been pushing back against the project, wanting to see the Las Vegas Convention Center expanded as previously planned. Murren is not totally opposed to the idea of a new football stadium but his company would not be in support of using room taxes for the stadium project when the convention center is in dire need of attention. Supporters of the stadium project have stated that the public share could come from the taxes related to tourism such as the taxes levied from the hotel rooms of Clark County.
This article has been updated to correct punctuation or a typographical error that may have conveyed a wrong meaning, i.e. “…Las Vegas Governor Brian Sandoval…”