Raiders Stadium: Was this a priority in Nevada?


by Michelle Trajtman, Editor in Chief

The announcement last November about the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas was groundbreaking. A big celebration was thrown, featuring NFL Hall of Fame players, NFL commissioners, state and local officials, and celebrities who grew up in Nevada. 

This stadium is being constructed right next to the UNLV campus and is said to seat approximately 65,000 people. But the one question no one seems to be asking is: who is paying for this and how much will this stadium cost exactly? The stadium’s total cost is $1.9 billion. Is this something Nevada can truly afford right now? 

Professional stadiums are state-subsidized, meaning it is paid for by the state. But this stadium, in particular, will be the largest stadium subsidy in American sports history. Taxes will cover about $700 million, while private investors will take care of the rest. 

According to former Governor Brian Sandoval, the relocation of the Raiders Stadium will bring profit to the city and increase tourism rates. 

However, Roger Noll, a Stanford economics professor, says “NFL stadiums do not generate significant local economic growth, and the incremental tax revenue is not sufficient to cover any significant contribution by the city.”

People are worried about a tax being added for this new sports team and it could even be economically stunting.

Funds aren’t being drawn by locals, contrary to popular belief. They are being taken from an increase in hotel room tax. This tax currently goes towards supporting state schools and transportation which means this stadium is a cut in funds towards schools and busses. 

It seems as though the fact that Nevada is close to being the worst state for education doesn’t matter as much as increasing tourism rates or profiting off of this new sports team.

“I think the money they are using is being wasted, I think it’s being taken from the wrong place and it’s very unfortunate that they choose to use money meant for schools when education is very important,” says Sierra Cervantes, senior at Palo Verde High School.

With all the controversy surrounding the Clark County School District and its lack of funding, you’d expect the main focus to be on resolving this issue. Nevada is ranked 47th with $8,165 per-student expenditures compared to the national average of $11,642. The total cost of the stadium, divided by the number of students in CCSD, would equal $5,000 per student.

It seems as though the logical thing to do is focus on education and lack of funding towards public schools. Politicians have their priorities mixed up, but what’s new? 

Joel De Leon, a senior at Palo Verde High School, says, “It’s unfair and degrading that the state is putting education in the second term and prioritizing a tourist attraction that benefits no one in the long run. I hate the fact that as students we’re close to powerless when it comes to stopping this injustice which shows how much power we have as a community compared to [the wealthy]. 

Hopefully, the money brought in by this stadium is put towards something beneficial for the community of Las Vegas. It’s about time politicians put the interests and well being of the people first before any economic gain.