Las Vegas NFL Stadium Fumble? Oakland Bids to Keep Raiders

The Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Weekly State Tax Report filters through current state developments and analyzes those critical to multistate tax planning.

By William H. Carlile

Nov. 23 — The city of Oakland, Calif., is responding to efforts by Nevada officials to lure away its National Football League franchise, the Raiders, and relocate the team to Las Vegas.

The city has begun a process with an investment group by which plans would be drawn up for a new Oakland stadium, in hopes that the Raiders would remain.

Raiders owner Mark Davis said he remains “committed to Las Vegas” and is not swayed by Oakland’s attempts to prevent the NFL franchise from relocating, according to published reports.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) remains steadfast in his belief that the Raiders will move to Las Vegas. “I trust Mark Davis. I take him at his word. I will continue to monitor the process established by the NFL,” he said in a Nov. 22 statement.

Erica Terry Derryck, spokeswoman for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D), told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 22 that her city is developing “an initial framework” with the Oakland City Pro Football Group LLC, also known as the Lott Group, for plans to develop a new Oakland stadium.

Potential Agreement Framework

That framework is under consideration by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Oakland City Council, both of which have scheduled closed meetings.

Derryck told Bloomberg BNA, “With guidance and approval from both of those bodies, we will be able to move forward with the Lott Group to work in earnest to present this framework to the team and the NFL in an effort to work out a deal that could keep the Raiders in Oakland.”

The investment group is led by NFL Hall of Fame member Ronnie Lott, a former player for the Raiders and San Francisco ‘49ers.

If approved, the framework would give Lott’s group the right to negotiate with the Raiders on a new stadium.

A Team for Las Vegas

The action is the latest development in Nevada officials’ efforts to bring the Raiders to Las Vegas.

On Nov. 15, the Clark County, Nev., commissioners approved a $1.9 billion financing package for construction of a 65,000 seat, NFL-ready stadium and revitalization of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The two projects are to be financed through a 0.88 percentage-point hotel room tax increase to fund the stadium, and a half-percentage point increase for improvements to the center.

The new hotel room taxes, which take effect Jan. 1, will add $1.35 for every $100 on a room rate.

The rise in the hotel room tax rate is expected to generate $750 million in bonds for the stadium, the biggest tax subsidy ever awarded for a professional sports stadium, according to the Tax Policy Center.

To contact the reporter on this story: William H. Carlile in Phoenix at wcarlile@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan C. Tuck at rtuck@bna.com

Copyright © 2016 Tax Management Inc. All Rights Reserved.