Las Vegas Raiders

How Raiders' Las Vegas stadium could be impacted by GOP tax plan

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How Raiders' Las Vegas stadium could be impacted by GOP tax plan

LAS VEGAS -- The Republican tax overhaul introduced in Congress could affect funding for the proposed $1.9 billion stadium that will house the Las Vegas Raiders.

A provision of the 429-page bill ends tax-exempt status on bonds used to pay for stadiums used by professional sports teams, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Saturday.

The Oakland Raiders' bid to build a 65,000-seat domed football stadium clearly falls within circumstances that would be banned in legislation President Donald Trump has vowed to approve by Thanksgiving. The stadium's financing plan includes $750 million in publicly issued tax-exempt bonds.

A staff adviser to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority and the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis, told the newspaper he has been inundated with calls about the change.

"The stadium, as designed, appears to meet the definition of a project that could not use tax-exempt bonds," Aguero said Friday. "That could potentially affect the financial models we have been using in estimating the potential cost of the project."

The proposal would likely increase the bond interest rate and either make the project more expensive or decrease the yield, Aguero said.

A legal expert in tax-exempt projects and real estate-based financing said many people were caught by surprise by the content of the legislation.

Richard Jost, an attorney with the Fennemore Craig law firm who also teaches classes at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, called it "somewhat of a shock to everybody" that the proposal was not only in the bill but that it would be effective immediately.

Jost predicted that supporters of the stadium would be burning up the phone lines between Nevada and the state's congressional delegation to amend legislation to exempt the Las Vegas stadium project from the plan. A simple fix would be to exempt projects that are already underway, he said.

The authority next meets Thursday. It's unclear whether the legislation would be a topic of discussion at that meeting, Aguero said.

Raiders 'shocked and saddened' by deadly shooting in Las Vegas

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Raiders 'shocked and saddened' by deadly shooting in Las Vegas

The deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night is especially personal for the Raiders.

The team is set to relocate from Oakland to the Las Vegas strip in a few years.

On Monday morning, the Raiders released a statement regarding the tragic incident:

The Raiders family is shocked and saddened by the tragedy in Las Vegas and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and first responders. The heart of the Raider Nation goes out to Las Vegas.

Oakland Coliseum authority open to housing Raiders beyond 2018

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Oakland Coliseum authority open to housing Raiders beyond 2018

The Raiders would prefer to delay their move to Las Vegas until a new stadium is complete. That venue’s opening day is currently scheduled for 2020.

They hold a one-year lease option at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 2018. They’ll exercise that.

The Raiders don’t have a home locked down for 2019 yet, though remaining in the Bay Area is preferred. Right where they’re currently playing, in fact.

It takes two to tango, and the Oakland Coliseum board would have to agree to another lease.

While it wasn’t always the case, Joint Powers Authority chairman Scott McKibben is now open to the idea. That includes 2019 and beyond, should the Las Vegas stadium construction be delayed.

“I believe that given the right set of economics, the potential for a lease extension for the time the Raiders would like to stay in Oakland is an open door,” McKibben told the Las Vegas Sun on Thursday. “I can’t underscore enough the fact of ‘given the appropriate economics.’ It will not be the deal that they currently have.”

The Raiders currently pay $3.5 million in rent, an amount roughly three times higher than the previous lease agreement. McKibben said in March the Oakland Coliseum operates Raiders games at a loss. At that time, he wasn’t interested in another lease extension.

Some things have changed at the Coliseum site since. Major League Baseball’s Athletics, who currently share the Coliseum, are focusing stadium efforts on a site near Laney College. They don’t estimate opening a new venue until 2023 but, at this time, wouldn’t need to build another venue on the Coliseum site.

McKibben told the Las Vegas Sun he’ll have a meaningful negotiation with the Raiders once Las Vegas stadium begins and the NFL’s teams are clear.