Funding for a new multi-purpose stadium in Las Vegas has been approved by the state legislature and the governor.
National Football League (NFL) football stadiums are staggeringly expensive and require both private and public funding. There is always a discussion in communities that undertake these projects regarding whether the short- and long-term economic benefits justify the additional expense for taxpayers.
People in Nevada and Las Vegas are in the midst of this debate. Oakland Raiders owner, billionaire Mark Davis who ownS casinos in Las Vegas, has agreed to move his team to the city and contribute $650 million to the project.
According to an article in ESPN.com, “the Raiders and the NFL will kick in $450 million.”
“Nevada lawmakers narrowly approved a deal in a special session last week that increases hotel taxes in the Las Vegas area to raise $750 million for a stadium and more than $400 million to expand and upgrade the Las Vegas Convention Center.” Governor Brian Sandoval has signed the bill.
The stadium will also be used by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas football team. University officials support the project because, unlike their present stadium, the new venue would be close to the school’s campus. School officials also believe the stadium will increase the athletic and, eventually, the academic prestige of the university.
There is opposition to the project. “Critics called the deal a ‘total scam’ saying it prioritizes the legacy project of one of the world’s richest men over Nevada’s school and mental health needs.”
NFL owners must approve the Raiders move to Las Vegas. Their support in not a given—some owners are leery about locating an NFL team in a city where legalized gambling is one of the key industries.
According to the local Laborers’ Union, construction on the stadium and convention center will create 25,000 construction jobs. This would be an exceptional boon for the construction industry in Nevada, at least in the short run.
Nevada governor signs bill raising tax to finance NFL stadium in Vegas, ESPN.com, Oct. 17, 2016.