The odds for the Oakland Raiders football team’s relocation to Las Vegas are looking very good right about now.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill into law this week that would set aside $1.15 billion in public funds to build two new mega-projects in Las Vegas: a new Manica Architecture–designed Las Vegas Raiders stadium and a large-scale upgrade to the Las Vegas Convention Center. In the deal, the stadium would get $750 million in funding with the remainder going toward the convention center project. Nevada lawmakers narrowly approved the bill in a special legislative session last week, capping off several months of deal-making and buzz for the nearly $2 billion project. Of the remaining sum, local billionaire Sheldon Adelson intends to contribute $650 million in funding, with the team putting roughly $500 million toward the project.
Manica Architecture’s proposal for the 65,000-seat stadium has been mostly repurposed from the team’s failed bid to relocate to Los Angeles and features a large, retractable roof canopy. The arena would be located on one of two sites, both adjacent to Interstate-15 and the Mandalay Bay casino towers. One of the proposed sites is located on top of what is currently a portion of the Bali Hai Golf Club.
The deal marks the largest amount ever in terms of sheer dollars that a municipality has provided to subsidize the building of a National Football League (NFL) franchise stadium. Construction Dive reports that several concessions were made in order to have the legislature approve the deal, including increasing the amount of access the University of Nevada, Las Vegas would have to the stadium and providing a different rental rate to the university for access to the facilities.
In a boastful ceremony marking the signing of the bill, the Sandoval cited inter-city competition as a driver for the funding plan, stating, “Cities such as New York and Chicago and Seattle, they have not only stadiums and major sports franchises, but are also investing over a billion dollars per year in their respective convention centers.”
Sandoval’s approval marks the penultimate step in the Raiders’ bid to build a new stadium for the franchise. In order for the move to become officially-sanctioned, two-thirds of current NFL franchise owners would have to agree to allow the team to relocate in an upcoming meeting scheduled for January 2017.