A majority of Clark County voters oppose using taxpayer dollars to help pay for construction of a possible NFL stadium in Las Vegas, according to a new KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports poll.
Fifty-five percent of voters polled in Nevada’s largest county said they’d oppose pledging up to $500 million in public funds to help finance a stadium that could potentially bring an NFL team to Las Vegas, with 35 percent in favor and 10 percent undecided.
Plans for a possible stadium are being led by casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp and Majestic Realty, who say that building a $1.4 billion stadium with 65,000 seats could possibly entice the NFL’s Oakland Raiders to move to Nevada.
Discussion on a proposed stadium is being lead by the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, an 11-member panel mostly made up of elected officials and casino industry representatives. The group is scheduled to meet Thursday, and has until the end of September to submit recommendations to Gov. Brian Sandoval.
The final proposal is still being worked out by the committee, which still needs to determine a site for the stadium and finalize the dollar amount in taxpayer money to request. Stadium backers are calling for an increase in hotel room taxes and the creation of a special tax district around the stadium that would redirect sales tax revenue to support construction costs.
Las Vegas Sands executive Andy Abboud responded to the survey results, saying that voters respond more favorably to the proposed stadium when they learn more about how the tax would be structured.
"The survey question leaves out critical information," he said in an emailed statement. "Specifically, the public funding would come from an increase in the hotel tax, which is predominantly paid by those visiting Clark County, not its residents."
Any tax increase would need to be approved by the state Legislature, which is scheduled to convene in February 2017 or can be called into a special session by the governor.
Voters were specifically asked if they’d support or oppose “the use of up to $500 million in state taxpayer money to help finance a stadium that would bring the NFL’s Raiders franchise to Las Vegas.”
Stadium backers and the committee haven’t publicly agreed on how much in taxpayer funds to request, but discussions have centered around a figure between $500 to $750 million. Additional costs and any overruns would be covered by the developers.
The KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports found opposition to public funding for the stadium across demographic lines, from gender to party association. Voters statewide opposed the measure by a 60 to 28 margin, with 12 percent unsure.
The poll of 750 likely Nevada voters was conducted between July 22 and 24 using a mix of 75 percent automated voice polling and 25 percent online responses, and has a four percent margin of error. A full demographic breakdown is available here.
Note: This story has been updated to add comments from the Las Vegas Sands.