UNLV Economics Professor says Las Vegas Stadium is a "gamble worth taking"

Illustrations of a 65,000-seat stadium that could lure the Raiders to Las Vegas. (Pictures courtesy of MANICA Architecture)

The Raiders deal in Las Vegas has barely just been approved and already there are critics. The latest negative article posted in "Business Insider" calls it the worst stadium deal in the world.

With a nearly $2-billion price tag, the new Las Vegas Raiders Stadium could become the most impressive stadium in the country.

Also impressive, is the amount of public dollars approved to fund it, $750-million, which at least one economist calls, the "worst deal for a city" he has ever seen.

Here in Las Vegas, Dr. Steven Miller, an Economics Professor at UNLV agrees there's risk, however, "I would say it's a gamble worth taking," said Miller.

Miller argues it's not fair to compare our future stadium, to those in other cities, because we are an incomparable city which draws nearly 43-million tourists per year.

"I'd say in many cities the stadium issue is less of a possibility than here in Las Vegas because we are a visitor's community, so we have lots of things going on," said Miller.

The public dollars, of course, will come from the hotel tax, not from residents, however, critics say it's money that could be used elsewhere, like schools.

Las Vegas proponents say part of the engine that keeps those tourism dollars coming is the ability to offer new things, in this case, a stadium.

"Well, we've had numerous billion dollar projects here in Las Vegas, so that's not unusual for us," said Miller.

He says at least 40 or more major events, aside from Raiders football will have to take place at the new stadium annually for it to be a success.

A challenge, absolutely, but in a city like Las Vegas, it’s also quite possible.

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