The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) will earn up to $600,000 annually for the next three years to serve in an administrative role for the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, which oversees Allegiant Stadium and would have the same supervision of a proposed stadium for the Oakland A’s, which is seeking to relocate to Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority board approved the three-year contract with the LVCVA on Tuesday. The tourism agency is taking over the role from Las Vegas-based advisory firm Applied Analysis, which would have a conflict of interest if it continued in the role because it is also working with the A’s on the team’s proposed relocation.
The $600,000 budget compensates the LVCVA for the time its staff spends on behalf of the stadium authority.
There was little comment by board members on the agreement, which passed unanimously.
State Treasurer Zach Conine, a nonvoting member of the stadium authority, said the agreement with the LVCVA was fair for both parties.
“The rates that are set forth for the hourly workers are certainly financially reasonable for the type of work that could be performed,” Conine said. “It looks financially to be a good idea.”
The A’s have formally applied with Major League Baseball to move to Las Vegas and are awaiting an approval vote from owners that could come before the end of the year.
In June, Nevada lawmakers and Gov. Joe Lombardo approved up to $380 million in public financing to fund a portion of the construction of a 33,000-seat, $1.5 billion ballpark on 9 acres of the 35-acre south Strip site that currently houses the Tropicana Las Vegas.
The A’s are in the process of selecting an architect for the ballpark and plan to have that process complete before the relocation vote. A’s owner John Fisher is expected to finance more than $1 billion of the stadium’s costs. Gaming and Leisure Properties, the real estate investment trust that owns the 35-acre site, would invest up to $175 million toward “certain shared improvements within the future development in exchange for a commensurate rent increase.”
Applied Analysis principal Jeremy Aguero and LVCVA CEO Steve Hill lobbied state lawmakers to approve the A’s financing package during the special session.
Because Aguero is continuing to work for the A’s, Applied Analysis had to withdraw from its role with the stadium authority, which it has held since the oversight committee was created in 2016.
Hill was not paid for his efforts to help the A’s navigate the legislative process. Hill, who serves as chairman of the stadium authority, said during the panel’s meeting last month his work for the A’s was part of his role to advance tourism efforts to Southern Nevada.
Because of his dual role with the LVCVA and the stadium authority, Hill said that interaction between the agencies would be overseen by LVCVA Chief Financial Officer Ed Finger and stadium authority Vice Chairman Ike Lawrence Epstein, who is chief operating officer at UFC.
Hill has said the LVCVA will work to keep costs low and set up an hourly rate billing schedule with 10 categories ranging from $55 per hour up to $215 an hour for executive administration.
Representatives of the Nevada State Education Association spoke during the public comment portion of the hearing to protest the deal between the LVCVA and the stadium authority.
The statewide teachers union is backing the “Schools Over Stadiums” initiative and wants voters to repeal the public financing package.
At the outset of the hearing, Hill turned over the meeting to Finger and Epstein to lead the discussion on the agreement.
The stadium authority is funded by a portion of the $750 million in room tax revenue approved by the Legislature for the construction of the $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium. Similarly, a portion of revenue to be generated by a special tax district around the A’s ballpark will go toward the construction costs and would be used to fund the oversight board.
The stadium authority negotiated key agreements with the Raiders that led to the construction of Allegiant Stadium and it’s expected to be involved in similar efforts for the Athletics’ proposed stadium.
The A’s ballpark is not expected to be ready until 2028.
If Major League Baseball approves the relocation — the A’s need an affirmative vote from 75 percent of the league’s team owners — the team will play the 2024 season in Oakland. Its home base for the following three years is yet to be determined.
The Raiders transferred ownership of Allegiant Stadium to the stadium authority after the 65,000-seat venue was completed. The stadium authority and the Raiders jointly oversee the operations and maintenance of the stadium.