Nevada gubernatorial candidate makes major threat to Raiders' Vegas stadium project
The city of Las Vegas is full of Raiders fans, and Dan Schwartz may have just given those fans something to think about when it comes to the Nevada gubernatorial election in November.
If Schwartz gets elected, one of his first acts as governor will be to throw a giant wrench into the Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium project. Although Schwartz can’t overturn the tax increase that the state approved in 2017 for the Raiders stadium, he does have another plan: He’s going to veto any project that involves building any roads to the stadium.
“Assuming I’m elected, I cannot interfere with the various contracts that are out there,” Schwartz told the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week. “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.”
Although the state of Nevada is contributing $750 million in hotel tax money to the new stadium, that doesn’t include the cost for infrastructure around the stadium, like new roads. The stadium is being built on the south end of The Strip, just west of Mandalay Bay, and the state is going to have to add freeway on-ramps and off-ramps to ease up congestion on game day.
So how would anyone get to the stadium if there are no roads? In a separate interview, Schwartz said fans can “roller skate” there, for all he cares.
“The state is in charge of the roads. And I can say, ‘You want to go to the Raiders stadium? Well, you can get there on roller skates because I ain’t building any roads,'” Schwartz said, via the Las Vegas Sun.
Schwartz, who currently serves as the state treasurer in Nevada, wants to see more money go toward education and less money go toward the stadium.
“Why are we taking $750 million in public funds when we have the worst schools in the nation and using it to effectively pay for a stadium for a group of guys who are billionaires?” Schwartz said, via the Sun. “I’m not saying there should not be a stadium. I don’t mind building a $1 billion stadium. That’s the point. We don’t need to spend $2 billion dollars on the Taj Mahal of stadiums.”
The final cost of the stadium is currently estimated to be $1.8 billion, with the Raiders chipping in $850 million to go along with $200 million from the NFL and $750 million from the state of Nevada.
For Schwartz to become governor, he’d first have to win the Republican primary on June 12. In a recent poll, Schwartz was trailing Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt by a substantial margin, although that poll was conducted by Laxalt’s team.
The Raiders’ stadium has been a hot topic over the past two years, with supporters and detractors on both sides of the aisle. Although Schwartz, a Republican, was against it, the project was actually spearheaded by current governor, Brian Sandoval, who’s also a Republican. On the other side of the aisle, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Giunchigliani is also against the Raiders’ stadium project, but she’s given no indication that she would look to hinder the project if elected. On the Democratic side, Giunchigliani is in a tight race with Clark County commissioner Steve Sisolak, who has been one of the Raiders’ biggest supporters.