The fact of the matter
Nevada took a step towards a positive direction in their quest to become the home ground of Raider Nation with the State lawmakers marginally approving an increase of hotel tax that would pool an approximate of $ 750 million of public money into building an NFL stadium. This stadium is also said to be partly funded by Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul.
Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, gave a statement thanking the legislature by saying that all parties give it their best shot to approve this huge project that will now serve as a proud home for the Raider Nation.
However, doubts still loom large whether the Raiders will indeed move their home ground from Oakland to Las Vegas, which is a city that is just beginning to recover from the drought of professional sports. It can be said that Oakland still harbors hope that they can keep the Raiders from leaving for the second time with the due support of not less than three-fourths of NFL team owners.
These team owners have always shunned the destination Las Vegas due to its legalized sports betting environment, which they fear would come greatly into play once in any professional sport that takes place.
What are the prospects?
All the matters are expected to be addressed at the owner’s meetings at the next fall, but there will be no choosing my votes. According to the stipulations, the Raiders do not qualify to apply for relocation until 15th of January. Despite all the drawbacks, people who support the idea of seeing the Raiders represent Sin City have the all powerful bargaining chip in their hand.
By 2020, the prospect of having a 65,000 seat lavish domed venue close to Las Vegas strip may not be only a dream but a reality. This project is backed by Adelson, who has contributed an amount worth of $ 650 million as well as $ 500 million from the Raiders. Also, around $ 750 million are said to be from public investment itself.
Brian Sandoval, who is the Republican governor, views this $ 1.9 billion stadium as a gateway to promote tourism in Las Vegas. He is expected to sign the deal by next Monday positively. He released a statement saying “it is exciting to see our sporting industry, small businesses, and labor unions come together to support a major project”.
He further went on to say that this is just the beginning of Southern Nevada’s dominant streak in world-class hospitality and tourism.
The legislative assembly and worker protests
Sandoval personally invited lawmakers to attend a rare session to consider accepting a deal that raises a total of 12% hotel tax in Las Vegas by up to 1.4% in order to fund the stadium and expansion of the convention center. The top players in the casino industry like MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment pleaded to the lawmakers to not miss perhaps one of the best game-changing ventures that are being backed by Adelson, their competitor.
Construction workers took to protesting this decision by gathering near the legislative building with black flags. Carson City saw a large gathering of construction workers leaving the lawmakers to retain their jobs that dried up during the recession; they also threatened to sabotage the Democrat campaigns that are responsible for voting against the deal.
The Republicans and Democrats come together
The session ended with the Senate voting 16 – 5 and the Assembly scoring 28 – 13 for the bill. The opponent party consisted of both Democrats and Republicans, many of whom did not wish the legislature to levy additional tax revenue towards building a stadium rather than not focusing on the bottom ranking education sector and mental health arena of Nevada.
Teresa Benitez Thomson, Democratic assemblywoman, said that taking care of luxury items before meeting the basic needs is a grave injustice. She further said, “I don’t let that happen in my house and I won’t let it happen here as well”.
Here, the public contribution will be larger in the form of raw dollars for any other NFL stadium even though the cost of public share (39%) is smaller than most stadiums of this size.
The impact of the decision according to critics
Critics left no stone unturned in pointing out the supposed follies of outside economists that include the famous Roger Noll, who is a Stanford professor as well as a sports economist. Their main point was that this deal was wrongly passed based on outlandish expectations on finance. However, those who were in support of building the stadium to promote tourist industry in Nevada held on to their opinion.
Jeremy Aguero made a statement “if we manage to take the effect of visitor component out of the economic impact model, then the result will be negative”. While he said that he is not in complete disagreement regarding the analysis of how other cities have made riches from stadium deals, he still feels that this decision was inappropriately applied in Las Vegas.
What do the proponents of the project say?
According to the promoters, they anticipate a turnout of approximately 451,000 new visitors to Las Vegas, Nevada, because of the stadium. This will usher in an economic impact of what more than $ 600 million. The facts arrived at based on the idea of the stadium being able to host a minimum of 46 events that include 10 NFL games, six football games, and a broad variety of concerts and other entertainment events.
The deal effectively puts $ 420 million towards the goal of expanding and renovating an old convention center, which the proponents say will come to use to accommodate massive conferences in Las Vegas. These two projects alone are expected to bring a growth of 25,000 jobs related to construction and around 14,000 permanent jobs to the arena.
While most of the responsibility of financing is being placed on the tourists, they can expect a lot of added amenities by paying around $ 1.5 more per night on their hotel bills for an average room on the Las Vegas strip. As you can see, the overall impact has the potential to be huge while not taxing the pockets of visitors too much.