Seismic events followed the first meeting in which the Raiders discussed a lease proposal with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board.
Days after that January gathering, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson withdrew his $650 million commitment to the $1.9 billion stadium project in part because the team never showed him the lease draft before making it public. Board members and UNLV representatives wondered how closely the Raiders actually followed the guidance of Senate Bill 1, the public financing legislation that provides $750 million in tax money toward the facility.
Expect nothing quite so significant to emerge from Thursday’s Stadium Authority board meeting. While the session will be the first since NFL owners approved last month the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas in 2020, work on refining the lease draft continued between attorneys for the Stadium Authority and the team over the past three months.
Board chairman Steve Hill characterized the current draft as “75 percent” completed, including many major changes from the team’s first submission. The board will discuss the lease during Thursday’s meeting.
“The document that will be discussed Thursday might bear some resemblance to what we got in January, but that’ll be almost pure luck,” Hill said. “We redrafted the document in a manner that we felt was the most appropriate manner. That’s the format now, and the Raiders are fine with it.”
Remaining lease issues include clarifying how UNLV football will be accommodated and how other events in the 65,000-seat stadium will be scheduled through the year.
“Most of these issues were discussed and got input at the last board meeting,” Hill said.
The Raiders will bear responsibility for scheduling the rest of the calendar as the stadium events company, a function required by SB1. The team likely will outsource that task to a company specializing in the field like Legends — the outfit of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — or AEG.
Also unresolved is the shared use of the stadium between the Raiders and UNLV’s football program. Legislators required the franchise to share the facility with the Rebels for the university’s six-game football schedule as a contingency of receiving public funding. Hill said last month the lease will not be completed before the UNLV agreement is in place.
Gerry Bomotti, UNLV’s senior vice president for finance and business, expressed last month the university’s concerns about maintaining a home-field advantage in a facility built primarily by and for the Raiders.
“We’re anxiously awaiting an updated draft of that lease,” Bomotti said.
A draft version of a shared-use agreement between the Raiders and UNLV also could be a possibility Thursday, Bomotti said, although the meeting agenda does not include it.
“We just heard that they were working on that, and we might get a copy of that as well,” Bomotti said.
That document is one of a handful that will need to be completed before the Raiders can begin work on constructing the stadium.
The team hopes to break ground by December on a 62-acre site near Russell Road and Interstate 15. A high-impact study of the site’s viability in terms of parking, transportation and other issues is continuing along with the lease discussions. Construction is expected to take 32 months.
The Stadium Authority board also will receive an update on the status of $100 personal seat license (PSL) deposits being collected by the Raiders. The deposit serves as a small down payment on a personal seat license, which will be required to have a chance to purchase season tickets for Raiders games at the new stadium. The Stadium Authority ultimately will issue the PSLs because the entity will own the stadium once it is completed.