CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada lawmakers have plenty of questions about a proposed deal to raise hotel taxes to put $750 million toward an NFL stadium in Las Vegas that could house the Raiders and $420 million toward a convention center expansion and renovation project.
HOW MANY JOBS WOULD THE PROJECTS CREATE?
Steve Hill of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development says the stadium and convention center projects would bring about 25,000 construction jobs and 14,000 permanent jobs. He said the average wage is projected to be $39,000 a year, and football players’ hefty salaries were not added into that calculation. Republican state Sen. Patricia Farley wants more details on whether the jobs are well-paid or low-wage, seasonal gigs.
HOW WOULD THE PROJECT DIFFER FROM OTHER STADIUMS ON DELIVERING ECONOMIC BENEFITS?
Hill says other projects most likely were too dependent on locals and lacked out-of-state visitors that pump new money into the economy. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau says about 27 percent of attendees at major events came from out of state specifically for an event.
WHY DO LAS VEGAS BUSINESS LEADERS SUPPORT IT?
Hill argued that casino industry executives on the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, which shaped and greenlighted the deal before it went to the Legislature, know Las Vegas’ tourism industry better than outside economists. Hill adds that Las Vegas Strip casino companies that vouched for the deal on Monday — MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment — need to remain competitive with hotel rates in other cities so raising the hotel tax too much could backfire. Las Vegas’ hotel tax is now 12 percent and would go up to about 13.4 percent under the deal, Orlando, Florida, the city’s biggest competitor for conventions, has a hotel tax of about 12.5 percent.
HOW DO YOU KEEP THE RAIDERS IN LAS VEGAS?
The Raiders have a reputation as a team in search of greener pastures. But Hill assured lawmakers that the Raiders have never broken a lease and have only moved when lease terms expired. Their departure for Los Angeles in the early 1980s came after a promise for a new stadium wasn’t fulfilled. Hill said the team would need to sign a 30-year lease with the Las Vegas stadium and ink a non-relocation agreement with the NFL.
WOULD THE RAIDERS AND UNLV PAY RENT TO USE THE STADIUM?
An NFL team would have to pay rent. While that rate is subject to negotiations, it would probably be at least $2.5 million a year for 10 games, according to Hill. He also said UNLV football would need to pay about the same amount per game to cover stadium operation costs.
State Sen. Mark Manendo raised concerns that the rent was high for the university as it tries to build its football program.