January 11, 2018 - 12:22 pm
Updated January 11, 2018 - 5:31 pm
Throughout the Las Vegas Stadium development process, there have been big leaps in progress: the approval of Senate Bill 1, November’s ceremonial groundbreaking, the completion of a Community Benefits Plan.
Then, there are days when the Las Vegas Stadium Auth- ority board takes baby steps that bring full-fledged construction closer, but not by much.
Thursday was one of those days.
Board members cruised through a lengthy agenda but had little to show for it in the end, except that everything still appears to be on track for completion of a final stadium development agreement in February.
The board tabled action on selecting a chairman for the Benefits Oversight Committee, took a closer look at the UNLV Joint-Use Agreement that won’t be finalized until Jan. 19 and added a page to a Non-Relocation Agreement designed to give the Raiders an out to the 30-year stadium lease they would sign.
On track toward development
After the meeting, Stadium Authority Chairman Steve Hill and Raiders President Marc Badain each said they were satisfied that they had made progress toward the end goal of signing a development agreement to get into the construction phase.
In his report to the board, Badain said work was nearly complete on 100,000 square feet of temporary construction office space, that the relocation of an underground drainage channel was well underway and that the blasting of rock to excavate the inner bowl of the stadium would continue through February.
Board members were hoping to select a chair for the Benefits Oversight Committee, created with December’s completion of a Community Benefits Plan. The authority received 17 nominations for seven committee positions and will choose the chair.
Board member Tommy White said he wanted Sean Stewart, executive director of the Nevada Contractors Association, to chair it, while board member Ken Evans has expressed an interest in leading the committee.
The board agreed to table action — the board meets again in a special meeting Jan. 25 — since some of them haven’t met Stewart.
The other six committee members will be selected by the governor, the State Senate majority leader, the State Assembly speaker and the Raiders, who will choose three.
Board members combed over the UNLV Joint-Use Agreement, which is important to the authority because it would serve as arbitrator for any scheduling issues that arise between UNLV and the Raiders.
Senate Bill 1 states that the Raiders and the NFL have priority on scheduling at the stadium, and UNLV has the right to schedule two nonconference football games per year in the stadium and will have rights to the Labor Day holiday weekend. The NFL season normally starts after Labor Day.
The Joint-Use Agreement also spells out the Rebel football team’s access to the stadium, including clubs and boxes, and outlines a revenue stream for advertising and concessions once standard pass-through expenses are calculated.
The Board of Regents’ approval of the agreement next week is a key step toward finalizing the stadium development agreement. Hill said getting UNLV into the stadium has always been one of the key goals because it erases the need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a smaller, on-campus, open-air stadium.
Hill acknowledged that addressing scheduling issues was one area the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee might have fallen short on when making stadium recommendations toward the drafting of Senate Bill 1.
The authority also reviewed a proposed new page to the Raiders Non-Relocation Agreement that gives the team an out if any state, county or authority entity imposes a “targeted tax” on the team or stadium during the term of the lease.
A targeted tax is defined as any new tax that is directed or effectively directed at the team, the stadium, spectators, players or team officials or the NFL and its teams and spectators.
The new section of the agreement effectively enables the Raiders to legally break the lease at the stadium if a targeted tax is imposed.