SBD/August 27, 2014/Facilities

Term Sheet: Taxpayers Would Be On Hook For 75% Of Costs For Las Vegas MLS Stadium

Vegas city officials insist that taxpayers will only incur 41% of the costs
The city of Las Vegas "would be responsible" for more than $150M -- or more than 75% -- of the cost of a $200M, 24,000-seat soccer stadium in Symphony Park that would be built for a possible MLS team, according to a term sheet cited in a front-page piece by Alan Snel of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The term sheet "contradicts a press release distributed Tuesday by the city and its two private soccer stadium partners, which stated, '59 percent of these (stadium) costs would be privately financed.'" The city said that the soccer stadium and team term sheet "will be discussed at a City Council meeting on Sept. 3." The term sheet outlines a $302M project budget, which includes $102M for team equity; $44.25M "for developer contribution for the soccer stadium;" and $155.75M from the public, including $114.75M for stadium bonds. City of Las Vegas Communications Dir David Riggleman explained that the public, "in the end, will contribute only" 41% toward the stadium because the partnership between Findlay Sports & Entertainment and Cordish Cos. "will help the city pay off the project’s debt service." The new stadium project "will not move forward unless the Findlay-Cordish partnership lands an MLS team" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/27). In Las Vegas, Ray Brewer reports Findlay S&E and Cordish "will pay for costs associated with overruns to build the stadium, and Findlay-Cordish will be responsible for operating losses over 30 years of the lease." Developers said that PPL Park is 60% publicly funded, while Sporting Park is 75% publicly funded and Toyota Park is 100% publicly funded (LAS VEGAS SUN, 8/27).

REBEL YELL: The LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL's Snel cites a Kimley Horn engineering study as identifying "two viable" UNLV stadium sites, "with one requiring realignment of Swenson Street to accommodate a facility southwest of the Thomas & Mack Center." Moving Swenson would cost either $107M or $115.8M, "depending on which of two realignment options is chosen." Engineers also "checked out a second potential stadium site -- a 42-acre, off-campus private site off Tropicana Avenue on the east side of Koval Lane." Engineers estimated that this site's cost would be $49.8M, "excluding land acquisition," which could be in the $55M range. Wells Fargo & Co. owns the site. The Kimley Horn report "will be presented to the UNLV stadium board" tomorrow (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/27).
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