State, county officials question demands laid in Raiders’ proposed lease

Several state and county lawmakers Friday questioned demands laid out by the Oakland Raiders in a proposed lease for a planned 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas.

Two Clark County commissioners said they were surprised by a proposal for the Raiders to pay $1 a year in rent to use the stadium. And some state legislators joined the executive director of the Las Vegas Bowl in questioning the Raiders’ proposals to control scheduling and field markings at the stadium.

However, Steve Hill, chairman of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, said the public shouldn’t overreact to the terms of the proposed lease the Raiders delivered to the authority on Thursday. He said the proposal represents a starting point and authority board members would dissect the contract paragraph by paragraph in future meetings.

The proposed agreement addresses every aspect of the team’s use of the stadium, from the sale of concessions and merchandise to parking and the placement of automatic teller machines. The document also addresses stadium naming rights, advertising and broadcast rights and the proposed $1-a-year lease cost.

On Friday, Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said he learned about the $1 rent proposal by reading the newspaper. He said he’s waiting to see if the Raiders will increase their contribution for the stadium’s construction.

“I don’t know if that’s a starting point or where they’ll end up. One dollar is basically no rent,” Sisolak said. “Somehow this is going to have to work that (the stadium) pays its expenses — operating and overhead — and I don’t know if rent at $1 is sufficient. I tend to think that it might not be.”

Chris Giunchigliani was more blunt, calling the proposed rent amount shameful.

“I’m shocked. How arrogant is that?” she asked. “They’re a for-profit company. They should be better partners if they’re coming here.”


However, Hill said there’s a misconception that the stadium authority would receive revenue from the operation of the stadium.

“If the stadium authority did get revenue, it would almost certainly cause the bonds to lose their tax-exempt status, which obviously would create a major problem and a major hole in the financing package,” Hill said. “We can’t even take the dollar,” he said, referencing the $1-a-year lease.

The Raiders’ domed stadium would be owned by the stadium authority, because Clark County hotel room tax revenues would cover $750 million in bonds toward $1.9 billion in construction costs. The Raiders would cover $500 million, and the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson would contribute $650 million.

The proposed lease agreement makes no mention of the Adelsons or any other potential private development partner. Earlier this month, the Raiders told the NFL that Goldman Sachs is committed to financing the stadium with or without an investment from the Adelsons.

Hill said the proposed lease is an alternative that assumes the team would be the sole non-public investor funding the stadium. He also said that negotiations are continuing with the Adelson family to partner on the project.

“It’s important to note that the proposal the Raiders gave us assumes that they would be the sole investor in the stadium,” Hill said. “The way we originally assumed it would happen is that the Raiders and the Adelson family would directly invest and there would be an agreement between the team and the family.”

Mari St. Martin, spokeswoman for Gov. Brian Sandoval, also said the lease “assumes that the Raiders will serve as the stadium operator and contemplates all risks associated with that designation. This proposal does not consider an additional third party. … In this proposal, the Raiders would invest $1.15 billion in the stadium and accept all responsibilities and risk.”

“Any lease proposal will require a thorough vetting by the Stadium Authority board and detailed discussions with the Raiders franchise to ensure the lease accurately reflects and protects the state’s investment in this public stadium,” she said in a statement.


Meanwhile, Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, said he thinks the proposed restrictions on scheduling and field markings for UNLV games could be a sticking point for some lawmakers.

“Some of the lawmakers agreed to this deal with the understanding that UNLV would play their home games there, and the field would be UNLV,” Atkinson said. “UNLV being able to have their name, their logo, their colors — I think that means a lot to a lot of the lawmakers.”

But Atkinson added that he doesn’t think those restrictions will truly impact the relationship between the Raiders and Rebels because the two teams rarely play on the same day. So those field markings, he said, should be able to be repainted in between UNLV and Raider games.

Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams, D-Las Vegas, also said the potential restricting of UNLV’s field usage would bring up “some yellow flags” for her.

And Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, D-Las Vegas, said he thinks lawmakers should continue to keep an eye on the stadium authority to ensure that UNLV is protected during the lease negotiations.

UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy would not comment Friday on the specifics of the Raiders’ proposals.

Las Vegas Bowl executive director John Saccenti said the Raiders’ proposals to control scheduling and field markings for the proposed new stadium caught him by surprise, but said he was willing to take a wait-and-see approach.

“The good thing is I’ve met with the Raiders a couple of times now, and so I get the sense that we’d have a good working relationship and there’s really nothing to worry about,” Saccenti said Friday.

But he still wanted to learn more details on the Raiders’ asking for the rights to approve any college football game in the new stadium and for any markings from such events to be completely removed before the NFL team takes the field.

That is, if they take the field in Las Vegas. Though the Raiders have applied to the NFL to relocate to Southern Nevada, at least 24 of the 32 owners must approve the move. A vote is expected in late March at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix.

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

Staff writers Michael Scott Davidson, Colton Lochhead and Sandra Chereb contributed to this report.

Contact Mark Anderson at or 702-387-2914. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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

Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
Casinos to be penalized for allowing drug-impaired customers to gamble
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo talks about an amendment making casinos subject to the same disciplinary standards of preventing people to gamble if impaired by drugs as they are for letting them play while intoxicated by alcohol.
Terrible Herbst to open large travel center in Southern Nevada
The 50,000-square-foot commercial travel center will include 96 fuel pumps and the third White Castle restaurant in Southern Nevada. Wade Tyler Millward reports.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Hooters owner talks about room upgrades at his hotel-casino
George Ruff, founder and senior principal of Trinity Hotel Investors L.L.C., owner of Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, talks about recent room upgrades at the hotel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Passengers Discuss Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air passengers voice their views on the airline at McCarran International Airport on April 16, 2018. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like