The Oakland Raiders interest in a potential Las Vegas relocation has received endorsements from Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones, but there are still plenty of hurdles remaining. Discussions have started to center around financing that would call for $500 million from Mark Davis, $150 million from Sheldon Adelson and the Las Vegas Sands Group, and as much as $750 million coming from tourist taxes. Naturally, the city of Las Vegas and state of Nevada have had something to say about that.
The tourism taxes in Las Vegas include taxes on hotels, taxis, and car rentals. That money is assigned to various projects, but for any adjustment, a special session of the state legislature would be required. I had heard some speculation about an August session, but for the time being legislators believe there are several issues still to be discussed.
Most notably, numerous businesses in Las Vegas are pushing for the tax money to be spent on an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. They believe an upgrade to the convention center would provide a much needed boost to the local economy. MGM Resorts International is the biggest proponent of a convention center expansion. Considering MGM owns ten of the bigger resorts in Las Vegas, as well as having a major holding in the $8 billion CityCenter project. They may not control the city, but when MGM talks, people listen.
One other issue that arises in calling a special session of the legislature is the cost to politicians. According to Nevada law, legislators are not allowed to raise campaign funds from the announcement of the special session through 15 days after the session concludes. The last special session was in 2014 when the legislature approved tax breaks and incentives for Tesla to build a major battery plant in Nevada. One assemblyman said that deal was much less complex than a stadium deal. My guess is that he was simply putting it out there that the two sides need to continue negotiating before any special session would be called.
Author's note: In case you don't recognize me, this is David Fucillo from Niners Nation. While I do happen to be a 49ers fan, I grew up in Las Vegas, and still have a lot of family and friends there. Having spent a lot of time in Las Vegas, and covered the stadium process for the 49ers, I'll be providing updates from time-to-time here on the potential Raiders/Las Vegas connection.