Stanford econ prof questions realism of Vegas Raiders stadium fi - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Stanford econ prof questions realism of Vegas Raiders stadium finances

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Renderings show one end of the Raiders proposed stadium with a view of the Las Vegas Strip. (Source: Renderings show one end of the Raiders proposed stadium with a view of the Las Vegas Strip. (Source:

With Las Vegas on the cusp of its NFL breakthrough, a Stanford University economics professor does not have high hopes for Las Vegas' return of investment for the Raiders' possible new home.

In an interview with The Mercury News that was published Wednesday, Roger Noll characterized the probability of the stadium meeting the public's projected investment goals as "pretty close to zero." 

A hotel tax was instituted this month to help finance $750 million of the projected $1.9 billion needed for the domed stadium. Under the Las Vegas Stadium Authority's projections, the venue should draw 451,000 new visitors to the area who would spend an average of at least three nights' stay per visit. An annual collection of $650,000 would come of the hotel tax. The sales of bonds would be repaid over 30 years from the tax.

While he granted that the tax plan is unique to Las Vegas, Noll said, "Every single thing they made an assumption on has no prior experience anywhere else."

Noll, who is also the director of the Program in Regulatory Policy in the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, also questioned whether the stadium will truly draw as many tourists as projections called.

“Why would they go with this phony baloney stuff that Vegas is different," Noll told the Mercury News. "Why would they believe a half a million who would never visit Vegas would suddenly show up because there is a football stadium?”

For context, the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority counted 42.9 million visitors in 2016, which was the most since 1970. In addition, Las Vegas hotels last year collected $273 million in room taxes, which were good enough for an all-time high for Southern Nevada.

Despite the dose of realism, the Raiders are eyeing Monday during the NFL owners meeting as judgment day on their move to Las Vegas. Approval from 24 of 32 owners are required for the move to go forward. 

The Las Vegas stadium, which is eyed a mile away from the Strip, will draw $500 million from the Raiders and another $650 million from a loan which will reportedly be underwritten by Bank of America.

FOX5 will be in Phoenix on March 27 for the NFL owners meeting and the possible announcement of the Raiders' move to Las Vegas. Tune in throughout the day for Raiding Vegas coverage.


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