Raiders’ deal gives new meaning to the term Black Hole

They apparently call the section of the stadium taken over by the most ardent, raucous, symbol bedecked and loudest fans of the Oakland Raiders the Black Hole.

On Monday the NFL owners voted to allow the Raiders to move to Las Vegas, opening just a bit wider the chasm that will become a black hole into which Nevada taxpayers money will be endless, relentlessly sucked.

That $750 million in Clark County room tax money is just the first of the piles of tax money that will be swallowed by the supposedly $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed (doomed?) stadium that someday might house the Raiders and possibly UNLV football.

Artist depiction of a black hole (NASA)

Remember, the Nevada Department of Transportation estimates it will take $900 million to improve the roads to access the most likely stadium site. Don’t think for a minute that the billionaire Raiders owners are going to pay for that.

In any other development the developers pay for the roads. You see all those sawtooth roads around the valley — ones that switch back and forth from two lanes to four lanes? That is because first builders in the rural areas were only required to pay for two-lane roads, while later builders were asked to pay for wider roads. Who do you think paid for the parkway that provides access to Howard Hughes’ Summerlin development?

Then there will be demands for upgrades, just like at every other NFL stadium in the history of the world, fleecing the taxpayers for billions.

As for economic improvement, most workers will be minimum wage and part-time, adding more to the welfare rolls than lifting people off.

When billionaire hotel, casino and newspaper owner Sheldon Adelson floated the idea of building a $1 billion stadium for the Raiders, I thought it would be like any other hotel amenity — just something to attract a few more suckers to the gambling tables and into the beds. But somehow Adelson wriggled out of his supposed $650 million commitment, though the stadium project lives, meaning he gets the amenity without footing the bill.

And who is to say it will ever cost $1.9 billion to which the price tag is said to have grown? Perhaps it can be built for less and stick the taxpayer with the bulk of the cost.

A stadium is a liability, not an asset. It is an insatiable maw that swallows tax money in perpetuity.

Black hole indeed.

The Black Hole

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9 comments on “Raiders’ deal gives new meaning to the term Black Hole

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    Rome had its Coliseum to divert the masses from reality and now we will have ours along with all the other media diversions.
    Not much has changed.

  2. John Smith says:

    Great piece

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. Bread and circuses, but the taxpayers provide the bread.

  4. deleted says:

    I’m partially in agreement, especially as it relates to anyone other than the billionaire owners of the team paying to enrich themselves, but this brings legitimacy to the city, and will instill a certain sense of pride in the town that it has lacked since I got here in ’74.

    Like the ad says, that’s “priceless”.

    I can’t quantify it obviously, but it’s worth something as a citizen of Las Vegas not to always have to be on the defensive about where we live. Might not matter to some people, although I would say they’re being disingenuous if they don’t admit it, but an NFL team gives the town the legitimacy in some ways, it has lacked.

    I know I’m excited, and I’m definitely not a Raider fan.

  5. Bill says:

    It is fascinating how all of this has transpired. Adelson, the Raiders and the NFL all get a benefit of a government sanctioned bait and switch.

    Various studies suggest that there is little real benefit to a city getting an NFL Team at the cost of a stadium and that the presence of an NFL team does not add much to the economy nor to the cultural side. Don’t recall he Raiders being in Oakland did much to add to their image.

  6. Image? The team and the city are compatible.

  7. What’s the over and under for the length of time before the first team scandal once the Raiders move to Las Vegas? And the odds on the SARJ reporting it?

  8. Steve says:

    Since Davis’s Raiders got a loan (promised by) from BAC, I wonder who is going to be on the hook to pay it back if (when) the stadium begins losing money and cannot make its payments?

    Another “special session” to rape taxpayers and tourists?

  9. Barbara says:

    I concur with John Smith – great piece. I’ve been waiting for your thoughts on the AHCA.

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