So much for trying to keep sports and politics completely separate.
The Oakland Raiders, soon to be known as the Las Vegas Raiders, might never admit this, but they now have a vested interest in the gubernatorial race in Nevada.
The Raiders might not be rooting for any particular candidate to win, but there is clearly one candidate they’re rooting against.
That candidate is Dan Schwartz, the Republican state treasurer, who wants to halt the Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium plans, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Schwartz, for what it’s worth, is cognizant of the binding legal contracts that will get the Raiders’ $2 billion stadium built one way or another.
“Assuming I’m elected, I cannot interfere with the various contracts that are out there,” he admitted.
Schwartz’s plan? He’s going to target everything surrounding said new stadium.
“But the governor does control the roads. What I will do is tell them that you can build the $2 billion stadium, but you ain’t going to have any roads,” he said.
Schwartz’s biggest sticking point in the deal for the new stadium is the $750 million in state taxes that are helping to pay for it.
That rousing $750 million figure is good for the largest such tax subsidy ever granted for the purposes of a sports stadium.
The plan for Schwartz seems to be to targeting the roads going to and from the stadium, including freeway on-ramps and off-ramps.
Ostensibly, if he gets his way, the Raiders could be building a massive, state-of-the-art stadium quite in the desert.
Schwartz said that while he doesn’t want to completely undo the deal, he does want to re-route a good chunk of that $750 million toward education and teacher salaries.
Should he win the gubernatorial election, he can expect to face considerable opposition from many in the state of Nevada.
“That deal’s in place, and there’s no way to reverse that,” said Steve Hill, the CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Hill is also the chairman of the board overseeing the new stadium construction, so clearly he has a vested interest in the election as well.
Hill views the deal to build a new NFL stadium as a bipartisan issue.
As a Raider fan, this pisses me off – as an educator, I kind of agree with Schwartz: https://t.co/isMn4unCPq
— Mister Eiland (@seiland) May 2, 2018
“I would hope that whoever our next governor is would appreciate that the state has collectively made a decision on this, and that passed through the Legislature with a supermajority in both houses,” Hill said. “We have created a law that was very straightforward that outlined the process, and we have followed through on the commitment that was made to the Raiders.”
The Nevada gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 6.
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