Executives from the Las Vegas Sands Corporation say they’re serious about obtaining approval to build a $1.3 billion stadium at UNLV and hopefully attract an NFL team.
At a meeting on Thursday of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, the case for building a 65,000-seat venue was laid out by proponents of the stadium. According to economic analysts, even if an NFL team didn’t come to Las Vegas, $46 million in new tax revenue could be generated each year by the project. Declining to specify an amount, company executives said they want their private investment to be funded by public financing. A preliminary report proposed that $780 million would be obtained from public sources.
There is, however, concern from critics that the stadium project would take hotel room tax dollars away from the ongoing efforts to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center. According to KTNV, a new survey showed that while two-thirds of Nevada voters are in support of the expansion, they oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to put up an NFL-sized sports stadium.
After passing on relocation to Los Angeles in January, Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, says he’s open to the idea of moving to Las Vegas if they can’t get a new stadium in Oakland. In the past, the NFL has been opposed to locating a team where legalized gambling takes place. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “Those are ultimately decisions about where they go and the impact that the potential gambling that we’d have to deal with,” and, “We’d have to understand it, we’d have to understand what the impact is on us and ultimately each owner would have a vote on that.”
The proposed stadium site is next to the Thomas and Mack Center and is a joint venture between UNLV and Las Vegas Sands.