Top Menu

A’s leaders on hand to urge Las Vegas ballpark funding

new Vegas A's ballpark

With the end of the Nevada legislative session fast approaching, the Oakland A’s braintrust was on hand in Carson City to personally meet with legislators to urge passage of $380 million in public money for a $1.5-billion Las Vegas ballpark.

Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher and team President Dave Kaval were MIA when a joint committee of Senate and Assembly members of the Nevada Legislature met over Memorial Day weekend to discuss the legislation that would set up state tax credits and order Clark County to issue $140 million in bonds backed by a sales-tax revenues generated by the ballpark. They made up for it yesterday, meeting with various legislators to use passage of the enabling legislation.

Time is of the essence: the Legislature is tackling many issues before adjournment on June 5. That’s why the visit from Fisher and Kaval was noteworthy. From the Nevada Independent:

Sen. Scott Hammond (R-Las Vegas) spent roughly 15 minutes with Kaval and Fisher and said they didn’t talk much about the basics of the public financing piece.

“We only talked in context about the legislation and what was in the community enrollment piece,” Hammond said, adding that “we discussed what has to happen to get this out on Monday,” referencing the final day of the Legislature’s 120-day biennial session.

“To me, it really is about community involvement. When a team moves into a community, you want to make sure that they’re invested [in the community],” he said.

We expect discussions to continue and some interest/contentious committee meetings before next Monday.

And while much of the opposition to the state legislation comes from the fact it’s financial aid for a sports facility, the better and more illuminating way to think about it lies in the fact that it’s really just an enabling mechanism for a new TIF district funding a little less than 10 percent of the ballpark budget. TIF districts are a well-documented, popular tool in economic development, where new revenues generated by a project are used to back bonds issued for the project. (The midsize city of Madison, Wisconsin, supports at least 12 active TIF districts without sports entering the picture.)

When evaluating a TIF district, municipalities usually use three main criteria for evaluation: would the development happen without a TIF district, will the development generate the revenues to cover the costs of bonding, and how will connected parties (schools, transit systems, counties) be impacted by the TIF district? We are not sure the A’s ballpark would go away if the Clark County bonds went away, and we’re guessing that’s an issue legislators must face as they debate the legislation.

Rendering courtesy Oakland A’s.

RELATED STORIES: Draft of A’s ballpark funding bill released; Oakland, government bodies reach tentative deal on new A’s ballpark public fundingClark County balks at A’s ballpark bonding terms; New Vegas A’s ballpark one step closer with Bally’s announcement; A’s, Bally’s reach deal on new Strip ballpark; A’s rethinking new Vegas ballpark plan?; A’s land purchase could lead to new Vegas ballpark; A’s prevail on appeal of Howard Terminal ballpark environmental study; Las Vegas to A’s: No $, plenty of warm fuzziesOn cue: A’s leaders in Las Vegas todayDespite not being on Winter Meetings agenda, Oakland ballpark situation topic of discussionA’s confirm: We’re still focused on new Oakland ballparkVegas politicos throw cold water on A’s ballpark public fundingNo, the A’s aren’t on the move to Las Vegas–yet;  Court denies challenges to new Athletics ballpark in preliminary EIR rulingA’s ballpark referendum denied by Oakland City CouncilA’s ballpark plan moves forward after approval by state agencyAnother win for A’s pursuit of new Howard Terminal ballparkA’s focusing on two Vegas sites, raises possibility of ballpark tax subsidiesNew Oakland A’s waterfront ballpark receives OK from waterfront commission staffVegas investor says A’s have “strong interest” in Tropicana siteKaval: We’re down to two potential sites for new Vegas ballparkMore lawsuits challenge new Oakland A’s ballparkLawsuit challenges new Oakland ballpark

, , ,