Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | 8:57 a.m.
An agreement between the state, the Oakland A’s and Clark County to fund a $1.5 billion baseball stadium on the Las Vegas Strip will be forwarded to the Nevada Legislature for consideration, Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office announced this morning.
The plan calls for the creation of a Sports and Entertainment Improvement District for a planned 30,000-seat, publicly owned, retractable roof stadium located on the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue to house the A’s, Lombardo’s office said.
“This agreement follows months of negotiations between the state, the county, and the A’s, and I believe it gives us a tremendous opportunity to continue building on the professional sports infrastructure of southern Nevada,” Lombardo said in a statement. “Las Vegas is clearly a sports town, and Major League Baseball should be a part of it.”
The announcement didn’t detail contributions from Nevada or Clark County.
The Nevada Independent reports approximately $325 million in public funding will be made available for the project in the form of $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state. Clark County would issue $120 million in bonds and an another $25 million in additional tax credits that may be allocated toward infrastructure costs with the development.
Lawmakers have until the end of the legislative session June 5 to approve the funding package unless Lombardo either extends the session or summons lawmakers to convene for a special legislative session.
“Clark County has been working diligently to negotiate a deal that will protect the taxpayers of Clark County as well as the finances of Clark County government in our negotiations with stakeholders, and in reviewing this proposal, we believe it is reflective of the prudent financial practices of Clark County,” Clark County officials said in Lombardo’s announcement.
The deal comes more than a month after the A’s announced it was focused solely on relocating to Las Vegas from Oakland, Calif., where the team has called home since 1968.
Southern Nevada became the focus for the ballclub after team officials and California lawmakers were unable to find a middle ground on a proposed $12 billion entertainment district that would have included a similar ballpark overlooking the San Francisco Bay.
Bally’s Corp. reached a binding agreement with the A’s to build a 30,000-seat ballpark on nine acres of land at the current site of the Tropicana, just off the Las Vegas Strip. The deal was made in conjunction with the real estate investment firm Gaming & Leisure Properties, Inc. which owns the land of the proposed stadium.
The A’s pivoted to the Tropicana site after previously entering a binding agreement in April with Red Rock Resorts Inc., to acquire 49 acres of a site off Tropicana Avenue and Dean Martin Drive, just off Interstate 15 and within a few miles of the proposed Tropicana site.
That location, however, required the team asking the state for approximately $500 million in taxpayer dollars.
In addition to the public funding the A’s could receive, Gaming & Leisure Properties has agreed to give up to $175 million toward certain “shared improvements” within the future development in exchange for a commensurate rent increase.
Bally’s. which operates the Tropicana, said it intends to continue to run the Tropicana for the foreseeable future as it evaluates options for a broader redevelopment of the remainder of the site that would be adjacent to the ballpark.
The A’s have until January to have a redevelopment plan approved by Major League Baseball.
As a part of the proposed legislation, the public-private partnership includes public financing constituting less than 25% of the cost, making it the third-lowest public share of cost for the 14 Major League Baseball stadiums built this century, Lombardo’s office said.
“This tentative agreement minimizes the risk to Nevada taxpayers in the most fiscally responsible manner,” Treasurer Zach Conine said in a statement. “I’m also pleased that this project will leverage the most private investment of any baseball stadium in the country.”
Leadership from both chambers of the Nevada Legislature said the proposal will get full consideration.
“I am excited that we have finally received the A’s proposal and we are currently reviewing it,” Democratic Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager. “As I have continuously said throughout this process, no commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members. At the end of the day, any decision will be guided by what is best for Nevadans, our economy, and our communities.”