Nevada Governor Questions NFL Stadium Finances

NFLGov. Brian Sandoval on Monday asked who would pay for the necessary upgrades to freeways and streets leading to a 65,000-seat domed football stadium proposed by Las Vegas Sands Corp., Majestic Realty and the Oakland Raiders.

With a site recommendation anticipated as soon as Aug. 25 among four potential finalists, Sandoval said that he wants to know how traffic would be impacted by games, concerts and other big-ticket events held at the proposed stadium.

“This is serious,” Sandoval said Monday during a meeting held by the Nevada Department of Transportation’s board of directors.

“I’m going to need the information in a very short time period to see what needs to be considered if, indeed, a stadium site is recommended,” said Sandoval, who serves as chairman of the NDOT board. “There are a lot of things to consider, but I don’t want to suddenly have an item on our agenda that says we need to make a $150 million improvement to the intersection.”

If a stadium is ultimately approved, the developers would perform the traffic study and pay for any necessary infrastructure, said Steve Hill, chairman of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee.

Those costs are included in the stadium cost project, estimated at $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion, Hill said through a spokeswoman, without providing specifics. The developers have proposed a public-private partnership to build the stadium, which would include between $550 million and $750 million in public funds through hotel room taxes.

Representatives for Sands and Majestic have previously said that the costs of road improvements are included in the total package.

The Raiders have promised to pursue relocation to Las Vegas if a financing plan is approved by state lawmakers. The stadium also would host UNLV football games and events that are too big for existing Las Vegas arenas.

“Knowing the stadium location is key to determining what infrastructure is needed and how much it would cost, as it is site-specific,” Hill said, adding that the range is “quite large.”

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