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Assembly approves A’s ballpark financing bill; next up is governor’s signature

After the Nevada Assembly easily approved the Oakland A’s ballpark financing bill by a comfortable bipartisan margin, the plan now goes to Gov. Joe Lombardo for his signature. Now comes the hard part: paying for the new ballpark.

The approval puts the Athletics one step closer to a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat ballpark at the Tropicana resort site on the Las Vegas Strip. The Assembly was voting on SB1, which would set up $180 million in transferrable state tax credits for the A’s and order Clark County to cover $145 million on ballpark costs ($120 million directly in bonds for the ballpark and $25 million for infrastructure credits) backed by a sales-tax and payroll tax revenue generated by the ballpark. It had already passed the Senate by a comfortable margin Tuesday; the Assembly did amend the bill yesterday, and the Senate quickly convened to approve the amendments as well. (The major amendments were unrelated to the ballpark financing.)

Next up: Gov. Joe Lombardo’s signature, which is expected.

With the financing component addressed, the A’s now face a slew of other equally daunting challenges. The first, and perhaps the biggest, is figuring out how to actually pay for the $1.5-billion ballpark: the state financing of $120 million is less than 10 percent of the total cost (barring overruns, of course). Once the financing is arranged, work can begin on the facility expected to open in 2028. MLB approval is also required–and barring some issues on the financing front, this is expected–and the A’s will also need to figure out where to play in 2025-2027. Las Vegas Ballpark, home of the A’s is the obvious choice, but not an automatic one, as Sacramento has been discussed as well because of potentially higher media revenues. (We covered it here.) The team must work out a lease with their new landlord, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, to finalize a lease that includes a 30-year commitment to Vegas, and a community benefits agreement. And then there’s issue of FAA review of the ballpark design because of the ballpark’s proximity to Harry Reid International Airport. Technically, the FAA doesn’t actually approve construction plans; it merely recommends the local government on whether a building will impact airport operations.

Rendering courtesy Oakland A’s.

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