I am not able to make the Assembly hearing on the stadium. I am hoping someone that is there will be able to pass on some of this information if it has not already been discussed.
The parts below go beyond the fact that Las Vegas pays $750 million even if the cost is below forecasts. I can’t help but wonder if that is why there is a $335 million infrastructure line in there. That would build the entire 20-year Centennial Bowl project twice. Taxpayers would also receive absolutely no return on the investment.
The thought of taxpayers gifting Sheldon Adelson a stadium is absurd. We would mortgage Clark County taxes to pull this off. While the $750 million number is what gets floated, it is actually $1.6 billion. The interest is about $450 million of that. There are other costs that include admin services and a fund that would go towards future remodeling. The developer already backed out, too. I hope the Nevada Assembly will stand up for residents.
Terrible portions of the Las Vegas stadium bill that go beyond the expense
The Las Vegas stadium bill may be found here. I will use page numbers in it as a reference.
The first appalling part of this deal is that UNLV would pay rent after taxpayers already put up a majority of the money for its stadium. The Stadium Authority would “Establish a reasonable rent to paid by the University.” (page 18)
The Raiders are required to only sign a 30-year lease (page 18). There is no language that answers what happens if the Raiders decide to break the lease. Proponents will claim that the stadium authority should be able to negotiate that. There are too many examples of poor leases at other NFL venues to leave Las Vegas vulnerable here. Allowing an NFL team a backdoor to leave at the first stadium dispute would be a disaster for Las Vegas.
There are several portions of the bill that exempt the stadium from competitive bidding and public works laws. “The provisions of chapter 341 of NRS do not apply to the National Football League stadium” (page 20).
There is no punishment for investors if they bail. Tax money simply fills that void (page 27).
UNLV gets $3.5 million a year for 10 years, however, that is only after about $50 million in annual revenue is generated from the bonds. The Stadium Board can decide to make that amount lower if it wishes. There is no guarantee that money will ever be paid (page 28).
The hotel tax has no sunset. Excess funds go into a capital improvement program even after bonds are paid off. There is little chance the bonds would ever be paid off early based on the placement in the priority list. (page 28)