LAS VEGAS (CBS SF/ AP) – Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill into law that clears the way for a Las Vegas stadium that could be home to both UNLV football and the Raiders.
The Republican governor was joined by Raider’s owner Mark Davis, team president Marc Badain, several state lawmakers and a jammed packed crowd in a ceremony Monday morning at UNLV.
“Nevada has shown the nation and the world that Las Vegas is ready for the NFL,” Sandoval told the cheering audeince. “We are handing the ball off to you and we wish you good luck tomorrow as you meet with the other (NFL) owners in Texas.”
“We know this is the beginning of a long approval process, but thanks to our legislature now everyone knows what we all know that Las Vegas is the perfect place for an NFL team called the Las Vegas Raiders.”
Davis denied speculation that supporting the Las Vegas plan was a way to force Oakland, which is also trying to keep the team, to build it a stadium. He emphasized that he prefers to move his team to Las Vegas over Southern California, which is also an option.
“I made a commitment to the governor of Nevada,” he said after the ceremony. “I’ve never used another city as leverage.”
Davis must get 24 of the NFL’s 31 other owners to agree to the move. There will also likely be a stiff relocation tax placed on the team by the league for the right to move from Oakland.
While Sandoval admitted the road ahead would not be easy, just saying the words Las Vegas Raiders gave him “goose bumps.”
The bill gives Las Vegas businessman Sheldon Adelson and the Raiders $750 million for a proposed 65,000 seat, $1.9 billion domed stadium in Las Vegas, as well as $400 million for upgrades to the convention center.
The stadium funding will come from a 0.88 percent increase in the room tax on the Las Vegas Strip while the convention center would come from a 0.5 percent increase elsewhere in Clark County.
Under the stadium plan, Adelson will give $650 million of his own financing and the Raiders would contribute $500 million to the project.
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