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Public won't be privy to much information about the Raiders' financial arrangement with Bank of America

Jackie Valley
Jackie Valley

The public is contributing $750 million to a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders in Las Vegas. So how much does the public get to know about the team’s financing deal with Bank of America for its share of the bill?

Almost nothing.

Jeremy Aguero, whose consulting firm, Applied Analysis, serves as staff for the Stadium Authority, told board members Thursday that he’s scheduling meetings with both Raiders officials and bankers, which will give them a chance to review the team’s financing arrangement and ask questions.

The NFL recently approved the Raiders’ financing structure for the estimated $1.9 billion stadium project. After casino magnate Sheldon Adelson bowed out of the project early this year, the Raiders sought a new financing partner and announced in March that they had found one — Bank of America. But both entities have released very little information about the financial arrangement, which Stadium Authority officials previously characterized as a loan to the team.

And it may remain that way, at least for the most part.

Per language in the legislation authorizing public funding for the facility, information the team demonstrates is “proprietary” or “confidential,” such as its finances, cannot be shared beyond the Stadium Authority.

“A big part of the information that the board will get will be confidential,” said Steve Hill, who chairs the Stadium Authority and leads the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “The Raiders’ financial situation is not going to be a public document. We’ll get a framework for that at a board meeting, but the individual board members will get a more thorough briefing outside the public.”

The briefings will be conducted individually or with small groups of board members and won’t involve any deliberations, thus staying within the bounds of the Open Meeting Law, he said.

The stadium legislation requires the nine-member board to determine whether the development partners have the financial wherewithal to take on the project.

“Until the NFL approved the financing structure, I don’t think it was timely for the board to weigh in on that,” said Hill, adding that the league’s approval provides a level of “comfort” to the board and community.

An increase to the county hotel room tax, which went into effect in March, funds the $750 million public contribution. The tax increase generated $8.9 million during the first two months — ahead of projections.

Stadium Authority staff also briefed board members on preliminary issues under consideration as UNLV and the Raiders hash out a joint-use agreement for the stadium. The list includes everything from stadium use and scheduling to signage and revenue.

The board expects to review drafts of the stadium-use agreement and several other key documents — a community benefits agreement, non-relocation agreement, development agreement and an agreement pertaining to private seat licenses — at its July meeting.

Feature photo: Supporters of the Raiders NFL team celebrate at the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign on Monday, March 27, 2017. The NFL owners voted to let the Oakland Raiders relocate to Las Vegas. Photo by Jeff Scheid.


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