As Nevada legislatures prepare to decide whether to approve $750 million from a state tourism tax for a proposed $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas – and the potential new home for the Raiders – Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is throwing his support behind the project.
Sandoval wrote a piece in the Las Vegas Review-Journal in which he urged Nevada to recognize “a rare opportunity to seize the moment and raise Las Vegas — already the best in the world — to the next level of entertainment and hospitality.”
You can read the Governor’s story here.
Sandoval’s hand picked Southern Nevada Tourism and Infrastructure Committee tasked with analyzing the stadium proposal being pushed by Sands Corp. head Sheldon Adelson, Majestic Realty and the Raiders, unanimously approved the $750 million public contribution – which will be raised by an increased hotel tax – to go toward stadium construction. The remaining cost will be covered by the Raiders, Adelson and Majestic.
Upon approval by the SNTIC, Sandoval called for a special session of state legislatures between Oct. 10-14 for final approval. Sandoval is pushing hard for that to happen, as evidenced by his piece in the Review-Journal.
As he wrote:
“I’m proud of Las Vegas and the work that has been done to create these possibilities for Nevada’s future and the next phase of our state’s evolution. To lead, we must be bold, thoughtful and visionary. This is what the new Nevada is all about.”
If Nevada approves the $750 million – which Sandoval points out will essentially come from the pockets of out-of-towners staying in Nevada hotels – the Raiders will apply for relocation early next year with the hope of getting the necessary 24 votes from fellow NFL owners to move to Las Vegas.
The Raiders turned their attention on Las Vegas almost immediately after their Carson stadium project with the San Diego Chargers lost out to the Rams Inglewood stadium proposal last January in a vote of NFL owners.
The Raiders have an option to join the Rams in Inglewood, but are second in line to the Chargers and must wait for the Chargers situation in San Diego to get sorted out before getting clarity on their L.A. fate.
With time of the essence and the Raiders wanting to secure their long-range future sooner rather than later, they are now focused on Las Vegas.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has continually expressed a commitment to Las Vegas should Nevada approve funding, and told me last May he will honor his word.
With the Governor of Nevada making such a strong call for support – and taking that message straight to the people while touting new jobs and growth possibilities for Southern Nevada – it’s hard to imagine state legislatures turning against him when they vote later this month.
That means the Raiders might soon be filing for relocation, and then taking their case to fellow owners for approval.
As for Oakland, the Raiders have privately and publicly expressed little hope in anything getting done locally to help solve their long-time stadium situation. Hence the move they are making on Las Vegas.
And while former NFL great Ronnie Lott is working with the city of Oakland and Alameda County to build a new stadium for the Raiders, it’s still very much in the preliminary stages and Lott has been instructed by lawyers not to discuss financing details.
Davis and the Raiders have talked periodically with Lott. But there is little to indicate it’s anything more than just that: talk.
So the focus is 100 percent on Las Vegas, and if Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval soon gets his wish, the Raiders might finally lock down their long range future with a new stadium.
And a new home to boot.