As expected, road to Las Vegas stadium passing was rocky

CARSON CITY — In the end, when 28 names in green appeared on a large video screen inside the Nevada Assembly, when the largest public contribution to a stadium project in U.S. history had been approved, one foremost truth stood alone: If the Oakland Raiders indeed make Las Vegas home, the power of coalition paved the way.

It was tedious and messy and bizarre and fascinating and not nearly as transparent a process as many would have you believe, but five days after a special legislative session to consider public financing for a $1.9 billion domed stadium began, Las Vegas stood far closer to landing an NFL franchise than anyone ever imagined possible.

Senate Bill 1 received exactly two-thirds majority support in the Assembly on Friday, meaning a public-private partnership that will be funded in part by $750 million in Clark County hotel room taxes will be signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday in Las Vegas.

He will be joined by Raiders owner Mark Davis.

Yep. That part is very real now.

The bill was earlier passed in the Senate, which agreed to a few Assembly amendments.

The collective force of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and MGM and Wynn and Caesars, along with the labor unions and UNLV, all of whom united in different ways behind legislation for the stadium and convention center improvements.

“It’s a historic day, not just for the university but for the whole state,” UNLV President Len Jessup said. “There were definitely more ups and downs and drama than a (regular session). This is difficult — $750 million is difficult to wrap your arms around for any project. But as I sold someone earlier, this reminded me of the John F. Kennedy quote — ‘We didn’t do these things because they’re easy but because they’re important.’ ”


He paraphrased words Kennedy gave in a speech on the nation’s space efforts, and by the time the Assembly cast 28 votes in favor of SB1, you got the feeling several legislators would have rather been on the moon than watching approval.

This was hardly a nice and tidy process. It felt rushed from the outset. It was rushed, given legislators were asked to understand and vote on a project in a matter of days that was developed over 16 months.

Some even received threats on social media.

Republican leaders obviously weren’t completely convinced they had 28 votes Friday, which is why they immediately called the bill to question without discussion. This, not 12 hours after a report from a Nevada Department of Transportation consultant surfaced about the need to accelerate at least $899 million in Las Vegas freeway improvements if the stadium opens by 2019.

A report that was dated Oct. 4, but one made aware to several legislators only after posted an article late Thursday.

“I thought something was going on, but it was also supposed to be an open and transparent process, and to actually shut down the ability for us to rise and speak (before voting) was a good example of the whole corrupt nature of this process,” Republican Assemblyman Ira Hansen said. “What you just witnessed is why so many people believe Nevada has a corrupt Legislature.”

It is an amended bill that helps UNLV more than the original version, given the Rebels now will be represented on an expanded nine-member Stadium Authority Board and its rent for games will be fixed at actual operating costs.

But what assuredly moved this to passage — and for a few Democrats to cross over and some Republicans who were thought to be against the bill to instead vote in favor — was the potential for jobs being created and the possible economic impact through the stadium and an expanded and renovated Las Vegas Convention Center.

Which means labor unions and public comment about putting people back to work had their desired influence.

“To me, this is all about jobs for Southern Nevada,” Republican Assemblywoman Jill Dickman of District 31 said. “I felt it was important to support our Southern legislators. They know best what they need. This project will be good for Northern Nevada, as well. Nevada was built by taking risks, and this is just another project that will keep us on the cutting edge of tourism.”

So it moves forward into law, this project whose price tag is shared by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the Raiders and the tourism tax.

It was a bumpy ride for five days, but it ultimately delivered this fact: The NFL owners will hold their fall meetings Tuesday and Wednesday in Houston, where Davis is expected to present the stadium plan to the other 31 teams and informally announce his intention to move to Las Vegas, likely for the 2020 season.

The Raiders can’t officially apply for relocation until Jan. 15.

“It’s great news for Las Vegas, it’s great news for Nevada, it’s great news for all those workers that are looking forward to jobs,” said Andy Abboud, senior vice president of government relations and community development for Las Vegas Sands, which negotiated on behalf of Adelson’s family. “It’s an exciting day for the Raiders and UNLV. We lived and died four, five, six times the last week. But by the end of the day, the weight of the arguments and the economic opportunity clearly carried the day.”

In the end, 28 names went green and history was made Friday.

It wasn’t neat and tidy and at times not all that transparent, but who in the world expected it to be?

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

Ed Graney can be reached at or 702-383-4618. He can be a heard on “Seat and Ed” on Fox Sports 1340 from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Twitter: @edgraney

Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like