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We’re One Step Closer to NFL Football in Vegas After Nevada Senate Approves $750 Million Stadium Bill
The dream of NFL football in Las Vegas is one step closer to becoming a reality.
On Tuesday, the Nevada Senate approved a plan to provide $750 million in public funds to build a shiny new stadium so the Oakland Raiders can relocate to Las Vegas. The money would come in the form of bonds, which would theoretically be repaid with new revenue from a new hotel tax. The rest of the money for the $1.9 billion stadium will come from billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson and Raiders owner Mark Davis, who have agreed to chip in $650 million and $500 million respectively.
The Nevada Senate vote of 16-5 in favor of the funding package. However, that doesn’t mean the Raiders should start packing up their things and reserving moving trucks. The bill still has to pass the Nevada state Assembly, which will debate the issue on Thursday. Then the NFL owners would have to approve relocation—though there is no way the NFL turns down $1.4 billion in free money, so that would just be a matter of time.
Unfortunately for the good people of Nevada, while the funding bill may bring a professional football team to their state, it’s probably not going to make them any money. Stanford economist Roger Noll, a leading expert on the economic impact of sports stadiums, calls the Vegas deal the worst he’s ever seen, largely because its financial forecast models assume that one-third of the fans at every game will be tourists who spend at least three nights in Vegas.
“Their financial welfare would depend on selling 22,500 tickets every single game to people following the visiting team,” Noll explained to the San Francisco Chronicle. “There is no team in the NFL that comes anywhere near one-third of their fan base being tourists…You take away all that, you take away 75 percent of the economic benefit of the stadium.”
But no, have fun with your football team, Nevada.
Hat Tip – [Pro Football Talk]