The Cordish Cos. is happy to keep drawing up unviable arena and stadium plans for downtown Las Vegas. After all, you’ve been paying the developers to do it.
On Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council voted 6-1 to prolong its partnership with Cordish for at least an additional three months. A nonbinding term sheet that required public funding for a soccer stadium should have been rejected, but instead was approved with the understanding that Cordish and Findlay Sports &Entertainment would, by December, present a financing plan with no public subsidies.
It has taken almost five years to reach this point. Was the city even negotiating before this summer?
Cordish has been paid about $2.4 million to deliver nothing since 2010. A pair of arena plans didn’t pan out. And city taxpayers were ready to break out the torches and pitchforks to block a nine-figure public investment in a stadium for a Major League Soccer franchise.
But the expense of keeping Cordish goes beyond the $2.4 million. The city is paying down $80 million in bond debt for Symphony Park infrastructure. And as long as Cordish retains exclusive development rights for part of the site, no other business can advance a plan to build something that would generate tax revenue for the city.
This is one expensive, unproductive marriage. If Cordish can’t deliver by December, it’s time for a divorce.