NFL Stadium Build Comes at a Cost

vBy Joaquin Mojica

Nevada Legislature voted Oct. 11 to approve the Oakland Raiders stadium build with $750 million in lodging tax on hotel rooms on the Strip. The vote came with some controversy.

The Legislature met in Carson City, Nev. and passed a bill to fund the construction of a $1.9 billion domed stadium to attract the National Football League to Las Vegas. Of that total, a large portion will come from lodging tax in Clark County. Tourists who stay on the Strip in the primary resort corridor will pay an added .88 percent on their room charges. Those staying off the Strip will pay .5 percent.

Professor Sheri Perez, who teaches economics at College of Southern Nevada, said, “In my opinion, policy makers should reconsider viewing tourists as an endless source of revenue. Las Vegas is one of many options when selecting a vacation destination.”

The State Senate and Assembly voted in favor of passage: 16 yea, five nay.

According to a statement from Governor Brian Sandoval on final passage of the bill, found on his website, “It is truly exciting to see our gaming industry, labor unions and small businesses come together with broad support for these important projects. This is the beginning of the next chapter of southern Nevada’s continued dominance in tourism, conventions and hospitality and presents an exciting opportunity for UNLV. I’m proud of the work that has been done to create these possibilities for Nevada’s future and the next phase of our state’s evolution.”

There are some benefits to bringing in an NFL team but also some controversies surrounding the use of the lodging tax dollars for this project instead of other city needs.

Typically the lodging tax, also known as room tax, is used for tourism, entertainment, special events, and more importantly urban projects and capital projects supporting Clark County School District, according to state codes.

With that funding now diverted to the stadium build, some people are concerned about where money will come from for important investments needed in the city.

Perez said, “Introducing an NFL team to Las Vegas is a wonderful idea so long as it doesn’t involve any public tax dollars. I have never read a study on publicly-funded stadiums that resulted in a positive economic impact for a community. An NFL franchise should be treated the same as all other for-profit entities.”

Christian Santiago, Denver Broncos fan and student at CSN, said the tax money should go towards education instead of the stadium.

Joana Perea, student at CSN, echoes that sentiment. Perea prefers the money to be used for building infrastructure in Las Vegas and funding schools.

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