Why we’re watching the possible NFL move to Las Vegas

Nevada legislators have spoken.

Last week, in an special session of both the state Assembly and Senate, Nevada legislators approved a hotel room tax increase to help fund a new NFL stadium for Las Vegas. And while the governor has signed the bill, it doesn’t mean the stadium is a done deal. The NFL team owners have to approve the move by a three-fourths vote (24 of 32) — which may not happen till mid-2017. Add that on top of competing influences of NFL execs, team owners, and local politicians (both in Oakland and Las Vegas) there is still a lot up in the air.

No matter what happens, though, we’ll be following this issue to make sure fans in Las Vegas or Oakland don’t get screwed over in the process. If the stadium move does go through, and taxpayers and Las Vegas visitors pay their $750 million share of the nearly $2 billion stadium what will the public — the fans — get in return? We know that public funding for stadium doesn't bring broad economic benefits, so there'd better be something in it for the fans.

Will there be discounted tickets available? Reasonably-priced concessions? How about parking? Free tickets for veterans and active servicemembers? Free use of the field by local youth teams?

We’re sick of finding examples of owner greed in all aspects of pro-sports, so we are calling it out at every chance we get.

Public financing of new stadiums without public benefits is not fair. And so when legislators choose to impose a new tax on its citizens to fund expensive new stadiums, we’re here to step up and make sure fans get enough in return. We’re watching, NFL.

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