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Committee approves ideas to attract events to Las Vegas stadium

Updated November 14, 2018 - 5:19 pm

A committee is close to completing its strategy to bring big events to the Las Vegas stadium.

The Southern Nevada Sporting Event Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a series of recommendations for how Las Vegas will attract events to local venues, including the $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat indoor stadium being built by the Raiders.

Under the recommendation, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority would be the lead agency for attracting and developing special events with support from the private nonprofit Las Vegas Events.

Most of the recommendations involve committee structure and how two proposed new committees would work with the LVCVA and Las Vegas Events.

The committee has proposed the formation of the Las Vegas Local Organizing Committee to work with the LVCVA on citywide bid events and “media events” — defined as events designed to boost the city’s status through media publicity.

Support of youth sports

A Youth Development Working Group would work with Las Vegas Events on attracting youth sporting events like soccer, baseball and softball tournaments with nationwide participation.

Las Vegas Events would focus on developed and sponsored events, amateur events, youth events and other special events that could include music award shows and festivals.

Recommendations also include a suggestion on how event development should be funded — through a 0.25 percent carve-out from hotel room tax revenue the LVCVA already receives. The Legislature would not have to approve changing the distribution of room tax funds; it could be done administratively by the LVCVA when it makes its budget.

The 0.25 percent annual allocation would raise about $15 million a year — a fraction of what it’s expected to cost to bid on events like the Super Bowl, the NCAA Basketball Final Four and the College Football Championship.

The LVCVA wouldn’t necessarily be tapped for every stadium event.

Raiders President Marc Badain, a member of the Sporting Event Committee, said the Raiders or a subcontracted partner would continue to seek out concerts and other events on its own, but the largest events would require the LVCVA’s help.

“If we’re booking a concert or a boxing event, that’s on us or any of the venues. If T-Mobile books an event, they don’t ask someone else to pay for it. They take the risk and they get the reward. The majority of the events will be under that framework,” Badain said.

“What we’re talking about here is if there’s an event that requires some ask because it’s beyond the scope of the stadium promoter or the stadium itself and requires additional resources, you would go to this entity and go to this fund and see if it’s justified to ask for some citywide resources,” he said.

He cited a Super Bowl or World Cup bid as an example of events beyond the resources of single host venue.

Confidentiality

One recommendation that sailed through the committee’s review was a proposal to enable more confidentiality for the LVCVA. Revisions to Nevada Revised Statutes would be required to provide the LVCVA the confidentiality necessary to discuss bid proposals for events without competitor cities hearing about them and possibly matching them.

The recommendation suggests the process be consistent with the policies and procedures in place for other government entities, such as the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which routinely takes applications from companies for tax deferrals in exchange for the economic benefit a company’s presence or expansion would bring to the region.

Las Vegas Events was initially formed to bid to bring the National Finals Rodeo to Las Vegas from Oklahoma City in 1985.

As a private nonprofit, Las Vegas Events isn’t required to conform to state open-meetings laws.

The recommendations will be developed into a report to Gov. Brian Sandoval, Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Legislature. The final report will be reviewed at the committee’s last meeting on Dec. 12.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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