There’s a meeting today in which the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee will discuss the viability of the $1.4 billion dollar domed stadium proposed to house the Oakland Raiders.
A certain buzz has been in the air for quite a while over this project and the supposed likelihood the Raiders will indeed pick up shop and head to Las Vegas. However, most people discussing the stadium and the potential move are missing out on a very important piece of information, a piece MGM/AEG bypassed, and the reason hockey is coming to the valley and for the time being football is not.
The current stadium plan calls for two thirds of the stadium to be funded with taxpayer money. That’s roughly $780 million dollars.
It’s a sizable amount of money and one that’s highly unlikely to be approved, but the number becomes outrageous when you consider the driving force behind the stadium.
That would be Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Sands Corp., a man valued by Forbes at somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 billion.
KXNT’s Heidi Harris, who was born and raised in Las Vegas may have said it best a few days ago on her morning show.
I’m tired of these billionaires putting their hand out and wanting more money out of my pocket. Don’t be asking me for money. Do you guys understand what a racket it is to build a stadium at taxpayer expense? How come MGM and AEG managed to build this gorgeous T-Mobile Arena and not ask you for any money and not ask tourists for any money? The point is, you are a billionaire, write a check. But instead they always want to find a way for someone else to pay for it. -Heidi Harris, KXNT NewsRadio 840AM
And if this were indeed a solid deal in which everyone stood to make money, do you really believe Adelson would be coming to us to help us out?
The city of Las Vegas is not immune to being used by rich people to get what they want. Adelson wants our money to make sure his books balance out on the stadium, and Mark Davis wants to use the city’s name to build up enough publicity that either Oakland or Los Angeles cut him a good deal. Meanwhile, poor little UNLV gets teased being promised additions to the dumpy Sam Boyd Stadium and a billion dollar on-campus home for their struggling football program.
Open your eyes people! Hockey is coming to Las Vegas, and not a single dime was asked for by anyone involved. The arena was built with private funds. The team is being financed by a millionaire who just wants a toy. And even the practice facility is an absolute steal as the NHL team will rent it and basically pay the entire thing off while the community gets to use it virtually for free.
Yet, scroll through Twitter, search on Google News, or if you are a Las Vegas local simply look down at your text inbox, the only thing people want to talk about is the damn Raiders.
I’m not trying to hate on the possibility of Las Vegas getting an NFL team, that actually sounds amazing. I’m hating on the two rich people using us to see if we are stupid enough to give them a great deal. I’m hating on the media for eating it up and spitting it out like there’s nothing to see but gumdrops, lollipops, and rainbows. And most importantly, I’m hating on you America (Canada gets a pass on this one). Read. Learn the history of sports stadiums, and specifically those in Las Vegas. Educate yourself on what’s going on here.
This shouldn’t happen, and luckily we have some good elected officials and the best tourism association in the world that will ensure it doesn’t happen. It’s not a bad thing. Focus on hockey, please, it’s happening, and not a single party involved is trying to rip off the city of Las Vegas.
The same cannot be said for Mark Davis, Sheldon Adelson, and the bum-ass Raiders.