Nevada lawmakers balk at A’s $395M price tag; deal dependent on county funding

Tabitha Mueller
Tabitha Mueller
Howard Stutz
Howard Stutz

Nevada lawmakers have not yet introduced legislation to bring the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas because they are only willing to contribute up to $195 million in transferable tax credits for stadium construction funding, not the full $395 million the team is seeking, sources close to negotiations told The Nevada Independent Thursday.

The amount the state will offer depends on how much money Clark County will offer in the form of county-issued bonds paid by taxes generated on the ballpark site. Sources added that lawmakers are discussing between $150 million and $195 million in transferable tax credits, but nothing is set in stone until the county details are finalized.

State and county sources with knowledge of the situation said the delay in introducing legislation can be partially attributed to the A’s flip-flopping on multiple stadium sites, which has left lawmakers without a concrete proposal. The Nevada Independent granted anonymity to sources so they could speak freely about the status of negotiations.

The news comes less than 20 days before the end of the state’s 120-day legislative session. Any public money for the project will need to be approved by both houses of the Legislature by June 5, or the Legislature would need to deal with the matter in a special session, which can be called by the governor or a two-thirds majority of lawmakers.

Since information about the A’s deal first dropped less than a month ago, the rumor mill has churned about a potential deal between the Legislature, Clark County and the Major League Baseball team — but the public financing piece has been holding up the process.

The A’s want to build a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat retractable roof stadium on 9 acres on the south end of the Strip near the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. The companies that operate the resort and own the land said they would give the A’s the site free of charge. The Tropicana is expected to close and be demolished at some point, then be replaced by a new resort.

However, delays continue as Clark County figures out the details of the bonds to provide the remainder of the requested $395 million in public financing, according to sources who spoke to The Nevada Independent on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing. 

Legislative leaders working on the deal could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.

“We continue to work diligently to protect the taxpayers of Clark County as well as the finances of Clark County government in our ongoing negotiations with A’s," Clark County spokeswoman Jennifer Cooper said in an email.

The A’s were initially looking to secure legislative support for a $500 million public funding package involving tax credits and the creation of a special taxation district to help fund stadium construction.

The $500 million request came when the team announced on April 20 that it reached a “binding agreement” with Red Rock Resorts to acquire 49 acres west of Interstate 15 for the stadium and entertainment district with restaurants, stores and other attractions. 

However, the public financing piece was reduced by $105 million when the team abandoned its original location two weeks later for the free site owned by real estate investment trust Gaming & Leisure Properties (GLPI). Bally’s Corp. operates the Tropicana through a lease agreement with GLPI.

Along with the free land, GLPI agreed to provide the team with up to $175 million toward “certain shared improvements within the future development in exchange for a commensurate rent increase.” Also, the entertainment district piece of the stadium project was eliminated.

“By giving the A’s the land, we’re showing our belief in the value of having this stadium,” Bally’s CEO Soo Kim said.

The project has received support from Culinary Workers Local 226, which has an agreement allowing the union to organize the stadium’s workforce. The Southern Nevada Building Trades labor organization signed a project labor agreement with the team and a half-dozen chambers of commerce in Southern Nevada have also supported the deal.

Updated on 5/18/2023 at 2:44 p.m. with a comment from Clark County.


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