Putting aside for a moment the fact that Las Vegas doesn’t have an NFL franchise and more than a few around the league are queasy at the prospect of games being played a stone’s throw from legal sports betting, the Las Vegas Review-Journal argues that building a new football stadium is “an urgent need”. That a plan for a combined NFL venue/new home for UNLV football is the brainchild of local billionaire / neo-con turd Sheldon Adelson bothers the paper’s editorial board not one iota. Sheldon’s not just a loyal subscriber, he’s the publisher!
Las Vegas will be unique among the cities Mark Davis considers for the relocation of his team. Everywhere else except Los Angeles — the Raiders could be back in play there after Friday’s news that the NFL is upgrading its commitment to keep the Chargers in San Diego — Mr. Davis will have to work out a stadium financing plan that will be contingent upon a Raiders move, with the NFL and the Raiders providing some funding. The Las Vegas project proposes a public-private partnership, with about one-third of the funding from private investors and two-thirds from tax revenues. While the financing details are far from locked down, it’s evident that Las Vegas Sands and Los Angeles-based Majestic Realty — whose president, Edward Roski Jr., owns the Silverton — are prepared to pay part of the bill. UNLV should be able to provide a philanthropic component to the plan.
The location is about as good as it gets, on a huge plot of vacant land recently purchased for $50 million by UNLV (via donation), a transaction we previously championed for just this purpose. The proximity to the resort corridor and to UNLV offers countless benefits to both.
This stadium is the missing piece of tourism infrastructure in Las Vegas, more important than any other proposal, including the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. We have previously endorsed that expansion, but for years, we’ve also aggressively called for a viable stadium plan. The stadium is the valley’s most urgent need to expand the tourism, travel and events dynamic. A large, multipurpose venue would create the most economic impact for Las Vegas right now, more than any new hotel or additional convention space.