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Las Vegas leaders gather in support of proposed NFL stadium

Posted at 10:36 AM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 21:38:50-04
Supporters of the proposed Las Vegas NFL stadium and the expansion and renovation of the convention center came together Monday to promote both projects.
The group calling itself Win Win Nevada Coalition say if approved the two projects will generate more than $84 million a year in public revenue.
State lawmakers will consider a $1.4 billion expansion and renovation to the Las Vegas Convention Center as well as a financing plan for a $1.9 billion stadium to house the Raiders.
"These two projects are the future of Las Vegas," said Jan Jones Blackhurst with Caesars Entertainment.
The event held in front of the Thomas & Mack Center featured a tailgate party put on by the Laborers
International Union Local 872. The union has long supported the projects that would create between 5,000 to 7,000 construction jobs.
The groups says when completed the projects would support 14,000 permanent jobs.
The proposed 65,000-seat stadium has been the focus of an intense battle since the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee recommended a financing plan to state lawmakers.
Nevadans for the Common Good held a press conference last week saying the current deal that calls for $750 million in public funding has too much risk with not enough reward for taxpayers.
Win Win brought in Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long, who says after years of failed attempts to get a new stadium in Oakland, the Las Vegas deal looks promising.
"To me, this is a no-brainer,” Long said.  “This is like a trick SAT question, spell cat and I am like where is the trick here, where is the problem?"
When asked about his former teammate Ronnie Lott’s efforts to get a stadium proposal moving in Oakland.
"Ronnie Lott is a smart businessman, and I wish Ronnie the best," Long said.
"You still think this is the better of the two options?" a reporter asks.
"It is a no-brainer. It is a city that is crying for an NFL franchise," Long answered.
The Hall of Fame defender went on to discuss his love for Oakland, but blaming politicians for preventing the team from getting a new stadium.
"When you are pounding your head against the wall repeatedly, what is Einstein's definition of insanity.  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result," Long said.

UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez also pitched the importance of the stadium in securing recruits as he works to build a top tier program.
"This is such an important cog in what we need to get done here," Sanchez said.  
Other supporters said the projects are needed along the famed Las Vegas Strip, which they say hasn’t had a major investment in a decade.
"In the past decade everybody has been watching, is it time, is it time to invest?  I think this signals, yes it is time to invest," Jones Blackhurst said.
Now all of the supporters, as well as their opponents, are waiting for a decision from Carson City.
Gov. Brian Sandoval is expected to call the legislature into a special session in the next 10 days.
Both projects will need approval from two-thirds of lawmakers to pass.