Las Vegas Mayor Says Stadium, Not Sports Gambling, is Biggest Hurdle in Landing NFL Team
Posted on: June 2, 2016, 06:47h.
Last updated on: June 2, 2016, 06:47h.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman (D) says her city’s legalized sports betting market won’t hamper its chances of landing a NFL franchise. Instead, the 77-year-old mayor who replaced her husband in the chief executive role of the city in 2011 says funding the construction of an adequate stadium presents a much more substantial hurdle to overcome.
Appearing on ESPN’s “Face to Face” with Hannah Storm on June 1, Goodman said, “It’s always about the money and whether or not the public is going to have any participation. We are pretty much funded by room tax here . . . Most of the people that live here, as in other parts of the country, don’t want their personal money involved but we’re lucky because our tourist base really is the money we’re looking for.”
Goodman’s comments are in response to the $1.3-$1.4 billion domed stadium being proposed by Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis along with Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Davis has offered up $500 million for the construction, and Adelson and Majestic Realty would contribute $150 million towards the project that would stand just steps from McCarran International Airport.
The remaining $650-$750 million would need to come from the city, and proponents of the stadium have suggested using revenues generated from the city’s hotel occupancy tax to cover the costs.
The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee heard the pitch from Davis and Adelson on May 26, and could make a decision as early as its next meeting, June 23, on whether it will recommend using the hotel occupancy money for the stadium.
It’s worth noting that Goodman’s jurisdiction covers the downtown Las Vegas area, not the Strip. The famed 4.2-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard S resides in one of Nevada’s unincorporated zones.
Owners Remain Relatively Quiet
Goodman’s opinion that the city’s widespread gambling isn’t an issue in relocating professional football to the area seems to be supported by the actual NFL owners. Should Davis file to move to Las Vegas, three-quarters of the league’s owners would need to vote in its favor.
While the NFL has been outspoken in its opposition to sports betting, the owners have largely stayed on the sidelines when it comes to addressing the issue. Monday Morning Quarterback’s Jenny Vrentas recently caught up with five owners who all expressed some sort of support for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Woody Johnson (Jets), Jed York (49ers), Jeffrey Lurie (Eagles), Bob McNair (Texans), and John Mara (Giants) all hinted to Vrentas that they wouldn’t vote against relocation should the city and team develop the appropriate strategy.
York, who owns the Raiders’ neighboring foe the San Francisco 49ers, said, “I think the stigma about Las Vegas is much different today.”
Heavily Reviewed by Review-Journal
Sheldon Adelson desperately wants the Raiders to come to the town where he’s made his billions. And like the casino tycoon, Goodman believes the cost to build the stadium will be greatly offset by the economic benefit professional football would provide.
“The economic boon to the entire community will far outweigh any cost,” Goodman declared.
In addition to putting up $150 million, Adelson’s staff at the Las Vegas Review-Journal is doing its best to continuously publish stories that seem supportive of bringing the Raiders to the desert. On what is an almost daily occurrence, Nevada’s largest newspaper gives ample print space to the Adelson-Raiders story.
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