The Nevada Legislature has signed off on a plan that would use $750 million in public money to build an NFL stadium in Las Vegas, despite opposition to a project partly funded by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. A cadre of lobbyists for the project worked hard to firm up enough of the shaky votes to meet the necessary two-thirds threshold and scraped by with the minimum amount of support Friday when lawmakers called for a quick vote without the customary speeches. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who's been supportive of the project, is expected to sign the deal Monday in Las Vegas.
It's exciting. But this is really about jobs, and I think at the end of the day people saw this as a fantastic economic stimulus package.Andy Abboud, chief lobbyist for casino mogul Adelson's Las Vegas Sands
The Nevada Senate gave final approval to some minor changes, after the Assembly voted 28-13 and the Senate voted 16-5 in favor of the bill. The measure would raise hotel taxes by up to 1.4 percentage points in the Las Vegas area to fund a convention center expansion and build a 65,000-seat domed stadium. Proponents say the plan to draw the Raiders from Oakland will bring 25,000 construction jobs and 14,000 permanent jobs to the Las Vegas area and help take the region's all-important tourism industry to the next level. Opponents complained that the deal gave money to a project backed by billionaire Adelson, who could afford to pay for the whole thing himself.
I would like to thank Governor Sandoval, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, and the members of the Nevada Legislature on this historic day. All parties have worked extremely hard to develop and approve this tremendous stadium project that will serve as a proud new home for the entire Raider Nation.Raiders owner Mark Davis