The Oakland Athletics and Nevada leadership have struck a tentative agreement to forward a bill that could lead to the MLB team relocating to Las Vegas.
Gov. Joe Lombard0 announced Wednesday that the agreement is between his office, the A’s, state Treasurer Zach Conine and Clark County officials.
“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 tentative agreement is being drafted into legislation that will be introduced in the Legislature as early as Wednesday. The A’s stadium funding bill would need to be approved by the Legislature and then signed into law by Lombardo.
“We’re very appreciative of the support from the State of Nevada and Clark County’s leadership,” A’s President Dave Kaval said in a statement. “We want to thank Governor Lombardo, the Legislative leadership, the Treasurer, and Clark County Commissioners and staff on the collaborative process. We look forward to advancing this legislation in a responsible way.”
The tentative agreement includes the creation of a sports and entertainment improvement district for a planned $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat, retractable roof stadium located on the southeast corner of the Tropicana site. Taxes generated in that district would be used to help pay back some of the public funding on the project.
The A’s stadium would take up 9 acres of the 35-acre site and lead to the demolition of the hotel-casino. Bally’s Corp., owner of the Tropicana, would look to construct a new resort project on the remaining acreage at a later date.
As part of the proposed bill, public financing would make up less than 25 percent of the cost. That would make the A’s Las Vegas ballpark the third-lowest public share of cost of the 14 Major League Baseball stadiums built since 2001.
The public contribution would include $185 million from the state in transferable tax credits, of which $90 million would be repaid over time from stadium revenues, people with knowledge of the proposed bill told the Review-Journal.
Clark County’s share would be for $150 million total, $125 million of that would come from bonds taken out by the county that would be repaid from the newly created tax district. The county would also foot the bill for $25 million in infrastructure improvements to the stadium site.
The A’s would be responsible for any amount that surpasses $380 million.
“This tentative agreement minimizes the risk to Nevada taxpayers in the most fiscally responsible manner,” Conine said. “I’m also pleased that this project will leverage the most private investment of any baseball stadium in the country.”
With the Nevada Legislature in its final two weeks of session, legislative leaders said they were happy to finally have a proposal in front of them that could be publicly vetted by their members.
“I am excited that we have finally received the A’s proposal and we are currently reviewing it,” Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said. “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.”
Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro said the proposal will be given full consideration in the Senate before the end of the session.
“Over the time we have remaining during this session, we will give this proposal a thorough vetting to fully explore the opportunity and its impacts on Southern Nevada,” Cannizzaro said in a statement.
More than 14,000 construction jobs would be created tied to the project, according to the parties involved. If successful, upon completion the ballpark and land would be transferred to Las Vegas Stadium Authority, making it a publicly owned facility, sources indicated.
“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 said in a statement.
Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.