Three of the biggest names in the Las Vegas casino industry have given their backing for a proposed NFL American football stadium and convention centre in the Nevada city.
Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International chief executive Jim Murren and Caesars Entertainment executive vice-president Jan Jones Blackhurst spoke yesterday (Monday) to Nevada lawmakers who are meeting in a special session to look at public financing models for the stadium.
The facility itself will be backed by Sheldon Adelson, the man behind the Las Vegas Sands casino.
It is thought that the stadium could lure the Oakland Raiders NFL franchise.
The proposed deal being discussed by lawmakers would increase the hotel tax on the Las Vegas Strip by 0.88 per cent for the stadium and 0.5 per cent for the convention centre. Tourists would pay a 12-per-cent hotel room tax.
“This is an absolute dead-bang, winning opportunity, and I hope you will find it in your wisdom to approve it shortly,” Wynn told lawmakers. “I personally believe that if we lose this opportunity, it will be one of the most heartbreaking mistakes we've ever made.”
Blackhurst, the former mayor of Las Vegas, added: “We've been offered a gift here. We've been offered a gift that takes us from 45 million visitors, to 55, to 65 million visitors.”
Murren also denied that the project, which is being supported by a rival, would damage his own company. “You might come to the conclusion that MGM would be opposed to both of the projects before you. In fact, the exact opposite is true,” he said. “We know the entire community benefits when our convention centre is full.”
The new arena is opposed by groups who claim it will not benefit taxpayers and that raised hotel duties could hit businesses.