Raiders mark new chapter with Vegas stadium groundbreakingNovember 14, 2017 8:49am

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In a ceremony that balanced the glitz that Las Vegas embodies and the tragedy from which it is still recovering, the Oakland Raiders broke ground on a 65,000-seat domed stadium across the freeway from the city's world-famous casinos.

Prince protegee Judith Hill opened Monday's ceremony with a rendition of Andra Day's song "Rise Up" as police, firefighters, EMTs and other members of the local community walked through a temporary venue to a standing ovation. Fifty-eight beams of light shone behind the stage, each representing one of the victims of the Oct. 1 attack, which was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Longtime Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton, musician Carlos Santana, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Hall of Famers Howie Long and Fred Biletnikoff were among the crowd that witnessed state and local officials as well as team leaders turn dirt with shiny shovels emblazoned with the Raiders logo.

"Only in Vegas can you turn a ground-breaking ceremony into a show," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during the event.

Contractors will be working under an ambitious timeline as the team wants to kick off the 2020 season at the new stadium. But the Raiders have yet to reach crucial agreements for the $1.9 billion project and now stand to lose millions under the tax reform bill U.S. House Republicans unveiled earlier this month.

The Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas was a plan years in the making after NFL owners shot down their plans to move to Los Angeles. Shortly after, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson announced his interest in helping build a domed stadium on the UNLV campus that could be shared with a professional team.

Lobbying began, and the Nevada Legislature approved a tax increase to contribute $750 million to the project. Adelson later withdrew his multimillion-dollar pledge from the project, and the Raiders chose a different site for the stadium.

UNLV and the Raiders will still share the stadium, but the joint-use agreement is pending.

So is an agreement that is meant to ensure the greatest possible participation by the local community in the design, construction and operation of the stadium. The agreement, known as the "community benefits plan," has been the subject of public debate during meetings of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board, the public entity responsible for overseeing the stadium. A draft the team presented during a board meeting last week requires that minority and female workers carry out at least 38 percent of construction work hours and 55 percent of operation hours on event days.

While Raiders Executive Vice President Dan Ventrelle described the proposed agreement as the most aggressive ever for a stadium project, board members expressed concerns over the hiring targets.

The financing plan for the Raiders stadium includes $750 million in publicly issued tax-exempt bonds. The Raiders and the NFL are expected to contribute $500 million to the project, while the team has also secured a $600 million loan from Bank of America for construction.

But the tax-exempt bonds are now at risk. The GOP tax reform bill released last week would bar state and local governments from issuing tax-exempt bonds for stadium construction, a common feature of stadium deals over the past two decades.

A study on stadium subsidies released last year by the Brookings Institution found that the federal government has subsidized stadium construction to the tune of $3.2 billion since 2000. The staff contracted by the stadium authority has estimated that the bill could cost the public board $3 million a year.

After Monday's ceremony, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said it is his under he is hopeful that any version of his fellow Republicans' tax overhaul proposals won't include that language.

"I don't know what the fairness of that would be. We already made this deal," he said.

___

More AP NFL: http://pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

FILE – In this April 15, 2015, file photo, an employee at Resorts Casino Hotel tries a touchscreen tablet device the day before the opening of the casino's internet gambling lounge in Atlantic City, N.J. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Dec. 4, 2017, as the state of New Jersey challenges a 1992 law forbidding state-authorized sports gambling in all but four states that met a 1991 deadline to legalize it: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, File)
Sports betting case could pay off for internet gambling
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is hit by Denver Broncos strong safety Justin Simmons (31) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Suit over erotic fiction about NFL player Gronkowski tossed
State gives initial OK for $5.6M to help Icahn raze casinoA New Jersey redevelopment agency has given preliminary approval to a $5.6 million payment to billionaire investor Carl Icahn to help pay for the demolition of part of Atlantic City's former Trump Plaza casino
FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, file photo, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers shouts during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Carson, Calif. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback is also pretty fired up about how important Thursday’s visit to the Dallas Cowboys is for his Los Angeles Chargers. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Thanksgiving debut for Rivers also big for Chargers, Cowboys
Witness: Men accused of bribes negotiated sale to QatarisWitness says sports marketing company whose owners have been charged with bribing top soccer officials tried to negotiate a sale to an entity associated with Paris Saint-Germain team president
A protester holds up a sign in opposition to a proposed ordinance that would regulate oil and gas development in Sandoval County before the start of a County Commission meeting in Bernalillo, N.M., on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
Tribal leaders take aim at oil and gas development
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices