Stadium authority signs key agreements with Raiders on stadium

Clark County Commissioners unanimously approved the land use permit for the Raiders Las Vegas stadium. (Photo provided)

In the space of two hours Wednesday morning, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority approved and signed the key legal documents that serve as the legal foundation for the team’s new 65,000-seat, $1.8 billion stadium.

It’s another milestone in a process that began two years ago with meetings of what was known as the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. The process progressed to a special session of the Nevada Legislature, then went before the National Football League last March, and now arrives here. The speed with which Las Vegas joined the NFL and started a stadium is something to behold, says Raiders President Marc Badain.

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“I just don’t think there’s a community in the country that pulls off what this community does on a regular basis,” Badain told reporters after the meeting. “The leadership and the vision that it takes to put a deal like this together can take decades, in some cases. Just look at the project in LA – the Chargers were working on a stadium project for 15 years, and we were trying in our market for almost ten.”

That was Oakland. This is Las Vegas. On Wednesday morning the Authority, which had already taken preliminary votes on these items, breezed-through a 35-item agenda. The agenda included the stadium lease agreement, the development agreement, and the non-relocation agreement -- which commits the Raiders to play their home games here for the next 30 years.

Yesterday, on the one-year anniversary of awarding Las Vegas the franchise, the NFL approved the financing package for the stadium at its league meeting in Orlando. The package includes an $850 million loan to the Raiders from Bank of America, $200 million from the NFL, and $750 million from the public, in the form of higher room taxes at resorts within a 25-mile radius of the Clark County Government Center.

Today’s legal lifting paves the way for the Clark County Commission to approve issuing the bonds for the public portion. The bond sale could happen within the next few weeks says Authority Chair Steve Hill. Hill battled back emotion at times on Wednesday as he thanked those who worked hard, and appreciated what the stadium means for Las Vegas.

“I think it demonstrates the maturity of the city,” Hill told me.

At the site, work is already four months underway, following a tight schedule in order to finish the facility in time for football in 2020. Both the Raiders and UNLV’s football Rebels will call the stadium home.

“It’s really a construction project now,” the Raiders’ Badain said. “We have to stay on time and on budget.”

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