Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is calling on Las Vegas taxpayers to ante up, or they won’t be able to lure the Oakland Raiders into the Nevada desert.
The Las Vegas Sands boss recently tabled a proposal to build a 65,000-seat domed stadium for the National Football team. The catch? The plan calls for $750 million that will be raised through a tax on hotel stays, according to a Bloomberg report.
Under Adelson’s proposal, $750 million worth of municipal bonds will be sold, and the securities will be paid by a 0.9 percent tax—about $1.08 per night—on hotel rooms.
If this pushes through, Las Vegas’s domed stadium will have the “largest taxpayer subsidy in the history of sports stadiums,” beating out the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, which currently holds the biggest stadium subsidy at $620 million.
However, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s top economic adviser is a little wary about the casino magnate’s proposal. In a rival plan, Sandoval’s man Steve Hill suggested scaling back the public contribution to $500 million, and then increase the private sector share to $900 million.
Hill’s proposal is expected to come up for a vote on July 11, according to his spokesperson.
The idea of taxing tourists in the gambling hub has yet to draw widespread opposition, but tourism authority officials and smaller hotel-casinos are concerned that Adelson’s plan could jeopardize a similar plan to raise the room tax, but for the purpose of renovating the aging convention center.
Backers having been touting the benefits Las Vegas will reap from building the stadium.
Sands President and COO Rob Goldstein previously said the stadium will give the city not only “a chance to attract an NFL franchise,” but even “bring some of the greatest events in the world” that don’t usually come to Las Vegas, such as summer matches with European soccer clubs.
Las Vegas’s stadium plan has potential, there’s no doubt about it, but there’s still one lingering question: will the Oakland Raiders’ move to the desert?
The NFL has been quite vocal in shunning Las Vegas in the past because of its legal sportsbooks, and it will be quite a feat to have the conservative league agree to have one of its 32 franchises move to the Sin City.