Did someone ratchet up the stadium price tag to hoodwink lawmakers? Nah …

So, according to the Sheldon Adelson Review-Journal (SAR-J, pronounced sarge), NFL executives in Houston for the “Big Game,” as all the ads say because they can’t say Super Bowl, say that $1.9 billion price tag for a 65,000-seat domed stadium in Las Vegas to house the Oakland Raiders might be “exorbitant.”

Now, who’d’ve thought that?

No other stadium has cost that much so far, the paper says, though one being built is estimate to top $2 billion.

Back in October when lawmakers were contemplating Senate Bill 1, which proposed to raise room taxes to help pay for such a stadium — the special session vote was 16-5 in the Senate and 28-13 in the Assembly, satisfying the two-thirds requirement — someone wrote:

The stadium is being pushed by billionaire casino and newspaper owner Sheldon Adelson who promises to shell out $650 million from his rather deep pockets to pay for construction. The National Football League and the Oakland Raiders are supposed to contribute $500 million toward construction. The $750 million public sop is the largest ever by any public entity for a sports facility in this country.

All profits from stadium operations accrue strictly to the private investors.

At one point during the Assembly hearings, Assemblyman Ira Hansen of Sparks asked what happens if the stadium comes in under the $1.9 billion estimate. Would the taxpayers still be on the hook for the full $750 million?

Steve Hill of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which had touted the project, replied: “Technically that’s correct.”

Before Hill could elaborate, Hansen cut him off with a terse: “Thank you.”

So, if the project comes in closer to the original estimate of $1 billion, the taxpayers will pick up 75 percent of the cost and the billionaires keep their money.

Now that Adelson has walked away from the deal, might taxpayers be facing just such an outcome? The stadium proponents rejected a proposal to cap taxpayer funding at 39 percent of the actual cost. It was $750 million or no deal. Don’t forget the $900 million in tax dollars it will take to improve roadways to access the stadium.

The article in the paper asks the billion-dollar question: “Does (Oakland Raiders owner Mark) Davis really need the $650 million that was coming from the Adelsons, or does he need far less to build the Las Vegas stadium?”`

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis. (AP pix via SAR-J)

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis. (AP pix via SAR-J)

10 comments on “Did someone ratchet up the stadium price tag to hoodwink lawmakers? Nah …

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    I’ve posted the link to the book, FREE LUNCH by David Cay Johnston before. I am posting it again. Seems the taxpayers usually get it right between the eyes on these deals!

  2. Rincon says:

    Steve, why don’t you suggest a solution that would make everyone except liberals happy? Just have Adelson, the NFL and the Raiders pay the bill and grant them $750 million in tax breaks. Those are much better than subsidies, right?

  3. Rincon says:

    “The new president also signed a memorandum instructing the Labor Department to delay an Obama-era rule that requires financial professionals who charge commissions to put their clients’ best interests first when giving advice on retirement investments.” http://www.startjuno.com/news/read/article/the_associated_press-trump_takes_first_step_to_scale_back_financial_reg-ap

    Well, since the client is paying the financial professional, who else’s interests could possibly come before those of the client? Oh, of course! The financial professional. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to put their interests ahead of those of the client? I suggest we do the same for doctors. I’d really like to schedule more emergency surgeries for the next day. That would put my interests first, just like a financial professional. Of course, I’m working on a pet. Financial professionals are only dealing with peoples’ retirement money. Why should that be a concern?

  4. Steve says:

    Have I managed to get under your skin, Rincon?

  5. This stadium is a fools errand. If two old rich guys want a stadium and want all of the profits then they should pony up 100% of the funding. Living in Nevada is like living on a ship of fools, all dreamers, makers and breakers. Not a deep thinker in the whole group and that includes the Nevada Assembly and the phony Governor.

  6. Bill Shuster says:

    Drop it like a hot potato! Adelson is a business man and as such sees more money going down the drain than coming back for his investment. Las Vegas will not support this kind of deal and the “quality” of support it would get from the Cali group would be worse than the gang that shows up for basketball finals now.
    No more money without the public voting on it! Our representatives DO NOT speak for the public.

  7. Athos says:

    Amen! The M.O. has been to grease the right politicians hands, and voila! you don’t risk your own money.

    Remember 2002/03 and some of these names from the past? Erin Kenny; former commissioners Dario Herrera and Lance Malone; and current Commissioner Mary Kincaid-Chauncey.

    And if memory serves, they were taking bribes $5000 at a time (and NEVER approached $1million, let alone, hundreds of million$)

    There is truly nothing new under the sun!

  8. Steve says:

    Athos, you should know, grandma Mary was convicted and she lost in 04, even (The Distinguished Gentleman ploy) Bonaventura beat her. Shoot’m up drunk Tom Collins won her commission seat.

  9. Athos says:

    The list of corrupt Vegas politicians would fill a library (not these new libraries but the old fashion ones WITH BOOKS)

    And a very small percentage of them actually got caught. Right, Tom?

  10. […] $750 million in Clark County room tax money is just the first of the piles of tax money that will be swallowed […]

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