Las Vegas Stadium Lease: Down to the Wire

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On May 11th, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority (LVSA) had a scheduled meeting to update the public on the new stadium. That meeting was chalked full of new information, as well as new deadlines.

The biggest deadline, having the lease between the Raiders Stadium Events Company (StadCo) and the LVSA, was discussed in detail. Word has come out that the lease needs to be inked by the May 23rd owners meeting.

Las Vegas Stadium Lease: Down to the Wire

Now I have heard from multiple sources that feel this lease will get signed before then. However, Adam Candee of the Las Vegas Sun wrote a piece on what could happen if that lease is not signed.

“If you miss the May deadline and push to October, we would lose a year,” – Raiders President Marc Badain

Because of that, the LVSA added a special meeting date of May 18th to the meeting schedule. The agenda for that meeting has now been published with “For Possible Action” listed next to the lease agreement.

This is a significant update since public laws in Nevada require “For Possible Action” to be made public 72 hours before a possible vote. What this means is that the LVSA is prepared to vote on and approve the lease of the stadium. An approval on the 18th would meet the NFL Owners meeting deadline on the 23rd. However, there is another LVSA meeting scheduled on the 22nd of May. Should the lease not be approved on the 18th, then the 22nd is the hard target. These two meetings could very determine whether, the Raiders will kickoff the 2020 season in Las Vegas, or 2021.

The stadium lease should not be confused with the development agreement.

The lease agreement between the StadCo and LVSA should not be confused with the development agreement. That is a separate issue which needs to be completed by mid October. It entails:

  1. FAA recommendation.
  2. On-site and off-site infrastructure planning.
  3. Traffic impact report.
  4. Blue printing and engineering.
  5. An agreement between the StadCo and general contractor.
  6. Parking plan.
  7. An agreement between the StadCo and Clark County.

Basically, it is an agreement to actually build the stadium which has a deadline of 150 days. A construction timeline was also set last week. As can be seen on the linked chart, groundbreaking will happen at the end of this year or early next, with a completion date of June 2020.

But what about the new information?

Not much has changed from what is already known, except for one big item. More on that below. Information that has been already covered, but not limited to listed:

  • 30-year lease with four successive extension terms of five years each.
  • Total possible contract is 50 years.
  • StadCo lease is binding in the event of ownership change.
  • Raiders lease is binding to StadCo in the event of ownership change.
  • StadCo is entitled to all revenue generated by Stadium with exception of UNLV sublease.
  • Good faith agreement to maximize usage of stadium through events.
  • LVSA is responsible to collecting taxes on all revenue generated by stadium.
  • Stadium and property will be wholly owned by the State through the LVSA.
  • LVSA is responsible for audits and must keep sensitive information private.
  • Community benefits agreement.

So what is still missing?

The terms of the University sublease with UNLV. This is really the last “major” item that needs to be agreed upon before tying up some other “smaller” items before the lease can be finalized. It will be an interesting contract to dissect as much of it has already been mandated by Nevada Law SB-1-2016.

So what was the “Big” item?

During this process, an interesting trend has been developing. The Raiders organization has been very generous in its negotiations with the State of Nevada. The biggest example is what the team has been offering in terms of capital improvement funds.

The capital improvement funds was mandated by the Nevada Law SB-1 2016. $5 million will be set aside each year by the LVSA. This monetary pool is for future upgrades to the stadium to keep it a premiere NFL destination. Now the amount of this annual contribution is already the largest of its kind in the NFL. However the Raiders, through StadCo, have agreed, contractually, to add an additional $2.5 million a year as well. This is significant because the Raiders were under no obligation to do so, and shows even more their commitment to the citizens of Nevada.

This action further shows the Raiders intend to stay in the Las Vegas Stadium long term.

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