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Clark County Commission has nearly 100 applicants to consider for stadium authority

Clark County commissioners will have nearly 100 applications to choose from when they appoint three members to the new stadium authority board Nov. 15.

Applicants include a casino owner, former executives and a union leader who pushed for the stadium deal.

Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said the county has a “high-quality group of applicants” to choose from.

“You’re talking a lot of community icons and well-established people that want to be a part of this,” he said Tuesday. “It’s going to be a very difficult selection process. It’s unfortunate we don’t have more time.”

The county’s deadline to apply was noon Tuesday. According to state law, all appointments to the Clark County Stadium Authority Board of Directors must be made by Nov. 15, and the board must have its first meeting by Dec. 31.

State law also requires the board to include three members appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval, one chosen by UNLV President Len Jessup and two public representatives selected by a vote of the other seven members.

Applicants for the county’s board seats include Daren Libonati, 51, former executive director of UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, Sam Boyd Stadium and Cox Pavilion for almost a decade, and Tom Thomas, 59, chief executive at Thomas and Mack Co. real estate development and management companies.

South Point owner Michael Gaughan, 73, is also on the list. So is Marilyn Spiegel, 64, former president of seven local casinos including Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.

Tommy White, the 50-year-old secretary, treasurer and business manager of Laborers Local 872, also applied.

Those five, and 94 other applicants will be competing for two of the county’s seats on the stadium authority board.

The last of the commission’s three appointments must be from nominees submitted by Caesars Entertainment Corp. and MGM Resorts International, the two companies that generate the most room tax revenue in Southern Nevada.

Caesars nominated Paris Las Vegas General Manager Ryan Hammer, Caesars Palace General Manager Sean McBurney and Jan Jones Blackhurst, the company’s executive vice president of government relations and corporate responsibility.

MGM nominated company President William J. Hornbuckle, Senior Vice President of Entertainment Rick Arpin and John M. McManus, who holds the positions of executive vice president and general counsel.

Jessup has designated Mike Newcomb to the board. Newcomb is the current executive director of Thomas & Mack Center, Cox Pavilion and Sam Boyd Stadium.

The governor will make his appointments before Nov. 15, a spokeswoman for his office said. She did not share how many applications the governor had received.

The public board will contract on behalf of a $1.9 billion stadium project and manage the facility. Proponents of the project hope the 65,000-seat domed stadium will become the new home of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

As of now, the positions on the stadium authority board are not paid.

On Oct. 17, the governor signed Senate Bill 1 into law, mandating an increase in Clark County’s hotel room tax to finance about $750 million for the stadium. With the public funds, the stadium deal calls for contributions of $650 million from the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson and $500 million from the Raiders.

The legislation requires that the stadium board members reside within the stadium district, which takes in much of the Las Vegas Valley and encompasses the area within 25 miles of the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas.

Clark County accepted applications for its three appointments for 21 days.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

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