Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani has a long list of things she would spend $750 million in public money on, if it was up to her. A light rail system, so Las Vegas can compete with cities with better public transportation. Firefighters, because her county has not hired a new one in years. And teachers, as public schools in Nevada perennially rank among the worst in the nation.
Nowhere on Giunchigliani’s $750 million public wish list would you find “help a wealthy NFL team owner and a mega-rich casino magnate build a $1.9 billion football stadium.” But that is exactly what Nevada’s largest county is poised to do, as the likelihood of the Raiders leaving Oakland for Las Vegas inched closer to reality this month.
Last week, Raiders owner Mark Davis made official his plan to move his team to Las Vegas by filing paperwork with the NFL; his fellow team owners could vote on the request in March. Davis decided to make the move, he has said, when Nevada lawmakers agreed late last year to provide a substantial public subsidy to help the Raiders build a new stadium. In October, Nevada’s legislature approved a plan for Clark County to provide $750 million for the stadium over the next 30 years through bonds backed by a new hotel tax.
I mean, this makes sense, right? The people behind this in Vegas totally need the money!
Giunchigliani, a former state legislator, is still dismayed by the decision, which will defray how much Davis (worth an estimated $500 million) and his likely business partner Sheldon Adelson (worth an estimated $31 billion) will have to spend to bring their gleaming vision of a domed stadium in Las Vegas into reality. Under the proposed plan, the Raiders will contribute $500 million, and Adelson will contribute $650 million.
Better subsidize the playground of a billionaire and one of the most grotesque living Americans! If that $31 billion dollar fortune briefly declined past $30.5 billion, he might have to cut back on his support of Emperor Tangerine. And I’m sure the people of Vegas will come out for the Raiders in the kind of droves that requires not 1 but 2 great teams in Los Angeles.