NFL stadium: Who will pay?

LAS VEGAS - How do you build a $1.9 billion NFL stadium with no risk to taxpayers? That's exactly what's being promised by the group behind the raiders stadium deal.

Monday a top executive with the Sands Corporation laid it out for 8 News NOW.

  • $750 million from a raise in the room tax. That will be paid by visitors to Las Vegas
  • $500 million from the Raiders.
  • $650 million or more if there are cost overruns from billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

One of the richest men in the world, Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon adelson is worth an estimated $28 billion dollars.

So why would he spend $650 million on an NFL stadium in which he will have no ownership stake?

"This is not about Sheldon Adelson being a Raiders fan, this is about Sheldon Adelson being a Las Vegas fan," said Andy Abboud, vice president, Las Vegas Sands. "He wants to take the city to the next level and have a legacy for himself for the years to come and be able to see that the city can grow in a way that we never thought would be possible."

And if the cost goes past $1.9 million?

"Well that's the beauty of this deal, is that he's made that commitment," Abboud said.

Because of that commitment, Abboud says the stadium deal is risk free for taxpayers.

"It will be paid for by the tourists, the Raiders organization and the Adelson family. There is no real negative recourse to the taxpayers under any scenario, because if there is any cost overruns, all of that is borne by the Adleson family, if the stadium doesn't make money for a few years, then he eats those losses," Abboud said.

New renderings show the stadium at the two preferred locations. On the south Strip at the Bali Hai Golf Course and just west of I-15 on the Russell Road site.

Abboud says they are currently in negotiations with the land owners.

"Certainly there are other locations in the valley that are less expensive that are easier, but they don't have access to the Strip that we think is important to maintain what tourists are going to want."       

Abboud says Sheldon Adelson's motives are both altruistic in that he wants to leave a legacy and they make good business sense.  

Events at the stadium would fill hotel rooms all over the city during the slower months and they are already in talks with Europe's top soccer teams to come here.

That would attract international tourists who tend to stay longer and spend more money.

If the state's tourism and infrastructure committee gives the green light next month, a special session would be needed to get the public funding in order.

 

 


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