In a somewhat surprising twist, the drama regarding the Raiders shiny new Las Vegas stadium might not be completely over. That depends on who the state of Nevada elects to be their next governor because Dan Schwartz, the Republican state treasurer running for governor, threatens that if elected he would stop necessary construction for the Raiders stadium.
To be more precise, Mr. Schwartz threatens that he would halt the necessary infrastructure improvements needed for the stadium to function. He wouldn’t have the ability to cancel the $750M subsidy the Raiders got approved for the new stadium, but he would have the ability to decide what infrastructure projects to pursue.
“Assuming I’m elected, I cannot interfere with the various contracts that are out there,” Schwartz told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “But the governor does control the roads. What I will do is tell them that you can build the $2 billion stadium, but you ain’t going to have any roads.”
By withholding funding for roads, highways and bridge projects needed for the stadium to have the proper infrastructure the candidate for governor believes he can force the Raiders back to the negotiating table. He would like to keep the room tax that was voted on but have it be applied towards public education which has been facing budgetary concerns in the state.
Despite the split for people who believe this subsidy is outrageous and those who are ok with the stadium being built, most people believe that it’s gone too far to turn back now. Doing anything to sabotage the project would be detrimental to Nevada’s reputation says Steve Hill, chairman of the board that oversees the stadium project and CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority.
“I would hope that whoever our next governor is would appreciate that the state has collectively made a decision on this, and that passed through the Legislature with a supermajority in both houses,” he added. “We have created a law that was very straightforward that outlined the process, and we have followed through on the commitment that was made to the Raiders.”
It would be quite the snafu for the Raiders if they build a stadium that nobody can get to. This does have the potential to get ugly if Dan Schwartz is elected and follows through with his threat. He has some political infrastructure of getting elected to build before he gets any say in Nevada’s infrastructure though, with the election occurring in November.