Nevada governor signs bill for Vegas stadium

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The NFL has revealed that Nevada’s governor Brian Sandoval has signed a bill clearing the way for a Las Vegas stadium that could be home to the Oakland Raiders, although NFL owners still need to approve the team’s move to Las Vegas before the city becomes a football town.

Governor Brian Sandoval and Raiders owner Mark Davis joined hardhat-wearing construction workers and mask-wearing Raiders fans for the ceremony at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), whose football team would also use the 65,000-seat domed stadium. Cheerleaders shook pompoms and a marching band launched into “Viva Las Vegas” after Sandoval inked the deal.

“Las Vegas is ready for this. Nevada is ready for this,” Sandoval said. “The best brand on the planet is coming together with one of the best brands in professional sports.”

Nevada lawmakers narrowly approved a deal in a special session last week that increases hotel taxes in the Las Vegas area to raise US$750m for a stadium and more than US$400m to expand and upgrade the Las Vegas Convention Center. In raw dollars, it’s the largest public contribution ever toward an NFL stadium, although the public’s share of the total costs – 39% – is on par with stadia in other similarly sized cities.

Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is putting US$650m toward the project, while the Raiders and the NFL will contribute US$500m.

Any relocation needs approval from three quarters of the NFL team owners – a historically conservative collective that has shied away from Las Vegas because of its legal sports betting.

Click here to read more on this story, including NFL commissioner Mark Goodell’s comments at the press conference held after the NFL owners’ autumn meeting, which took place on October 19 in Houston, Texas.

October 20, 2016

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