LAS VEGAS (AP) — A plan to build an NFL stadium that could attract the Raiders to Las Vegas hit another milestone on Wednesday, with Gov. Brian Sandoval signaling support for the project and saying he intends to call Nevada lawmakers into a special session early next month to consider a public financing plan.
The Republican governor said he spoke with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis this week and thought Davis was “committed and resolute in the team’s interest in relocating to our state.”
Sandoval said the stadium, along with a convention center and police force expansion that were also recommended to him, were an opportunity to invest in Nevada’s foundational industry of tourism.
“We can and must usher in a new era for tourism in the Las Vegas market, while keeping our citizens and visitors safe, and ensuring our position as the global leader in entertainment and hospitality,” he said in a statement.
The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee last week recommended raising hotel taxes in the Las Vegas area to help put $750 million toward a 65,000-seat stadium. Las Vegas Sands casino magnate Sheldon Adelson plans to put $650 million toward the venue, which is projected to cost nearly $2 billion.
Three-quarters of NFL owners would need to approve any team relocation, and they could do so when they meet in January. Officials in Oakland, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, said they’re hopeful the team can stay in the Bay Area.
“You never want to see a community lose their franchise once, much less twice,” Goodell said Sunday. “I think we can do it in Oakland. I think there’s a solution there, but it takes the community to help identify it.”
Meanwhile, county commissions in the Reno and Las Vegas areas plan to meet next week to fill five vacancies in the Nevada Legislature. Raising hotel taxes would require two-thirds support among the 63 state lawmakers.
Sandoval said he wants to allow time for newly appointed lawmakers to review the proposal, then he plans to begin a special session no earlier than Oct. 7 and no later than Oct. 13, depending on his conversations with legislative leadership.