First look at proposed A's baseball ballpark on Las Vegas Strip

A’s-to-Las Vegas stadium funding bill explained; will move to Nevada Senate Finance Committee

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Lawmakers are likely to wrap up voting on the state legislature’s newly-released bill outlining the funding for the Oakland A’s to build a stadium on the Las Vegas Strip, the 8 News Now Investigators confirmed on Saturday.

State Sen. Scott Hammond (R-Clark County) said the bill is likely to end up before the Senate Finance Committee on Monday and end on the Senate floor shortly thereafter.

“We have to go through the whole bill and make sure we understand the creation of a tax district that we’re going to be doing, enhancements from the state … How long the bond is going to be issued for,” Hammond said.  “We just have a multitude of questions. I think we’re just going through the bill, line by line.”

Hammond confirmed that the A’s – who he expects to pay well over $1 billion to get the stadium built at the site of the Tropicana Hotel – are looking for $380 million of public funding. The state would contribute $180 million of that, half of which would be repaid with tax revenue generated by the ballpark. 8 News Now revealed renderings of the state-of-the-art ballpark with views of the Las Vegas Strip on Friday.

Clark County, Hammond said, would be on the hook for $145 million, much of that from bonds that the county would pay down over time.

“Their portion of it is making sure they can bond,” Hammond said. “And so that’s the portion they’ll be contributing to it.”

Additionally, $25 million will be generated by a special tax district in and around the stadium, Hammond confirmed. Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo is on record saying that the A’s stadium funding would not include any new taxes. Because the legislature’s stadium plan doesn’t directly raise taxes, the bill needs a simple majority vote in the Senate and Assembly — not two-thirds approval.

When the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders built Allegiant Stadium and moved to Las Vegas, Clark County added a surcharge on every hotel room in order to increase revenues and help repay the county’s expenditures. The county’s surcharge still exists today despite the Raiders deal having already paid for itself.

“It [the stadium] is basically being funded by whatever is being generated in that area,” Hammond said.

8 News Now attempted to contact each Clark County Commissioner prior to the bill being reduced, and at that time they sent a statement saying that they needed to review the bill first. Now that the bill exists, they continued to refuse to comment, and instead, Jennifer Cooper, a Clark County spokeswoman, sent a statement that reads:

“The County is not in a position to provide anyone on-camera for an interview at this time, understanding that while bill language has been introduced, the bill has not yet been heard.”

The A’s also had no comment, telling 8 News Now, in part: “We are going to respect the legislative process and not comment until after the hearing.”

Hammond, a baseball fan in his own right, acknowledged that the A’s – who owns the lowest payroll, worst record, and lowest attendance in all of Major League Baseball – are “not very good.”

“But then again, I have seen a lot of teams right before they make a move into a new stadium where they don’t have the best team and then in three years you could turn that around,” Hammond said.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, who has previously expressed his support of the A’s leaving Oakland for Las Vegas, on Thursday said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when team owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The bill also calls for funding to provide assistance to homeless people around Clark County, which has struggled to solve a growing unhoused population. It also mandates that at least 15% of the stadium project be completed by small, local businesses.

To read Senate Bill 509, click here.

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