Schools Over Stadiums files petition to force vote on Nevada stadium financing

A rendering of the proposed Las Vegas stadium
A rendering of the proposed Las Vegas stadium(The Oakland A's)
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 11:32 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Schools Over Stadiums has filed a referendum petition to repeal the state funding for stadium bonds that was approved in this year’s special legislative session.

“Schools Over Stadiums has been committed to pursuing every possible path to stop the use of public funds to subsidize a billionaire’s stadium and that has always included putting the question to Nevada voters who were effectively shut out of the process,” said Dawn Etcheverry, a music teacher and President of NSEA and Schools Over Stadiums.

“Nevada’s priorities are misguided and when we launched Schools Over Stadiums in June, our goal was to ensure that public funds go to the services Nevadans depend on like our public schools, not to a California billionaire for a stadium.”

Schools Over Stadiums claims the 82nd Legislative Session failed to help overcrowding in Nevada classrooms or create new streams of revenue for schools, among other issues.

A special session was called in June to focus on the bill that would create funding for a baseball stadium to be built on the Las Vegas Strip. It took eight days but was eventually approved and signed by Gov. Joe Lombardo.

The stadium, with a projected cost of $1.5 billion, is supposed to be the future home of the Oakland A’s.

“The referendum petition targets specific parts of Senate Bill 1 to strip public funding for the proposed stadium regardless of what State and County officials agree do in any sort of development deal,” said Alexander Marks, spokesperson for Schools Over Stadiums. “We’re excited to get out there and start gathering signatures from Nevadans who want to put our schools first. We’re confident that a majority of Nevadans will join us in taking action to put Nevada’s priorities back in line so we can address an education system that ranks 48th in funding with the largest class sizes and highest vacancies in the country.”

Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has called the efforts “misguided” and “hard to get that on the ballot,” noting the benefits of thousands of jobs and tourism that will come from the future stadium.

Numerous organizations have already expressed interest in holding live events at the future ballpark, Hill said at a previous LVCVA meeting, showing there is already a need for a mid-size 30,000-seat facility. Allegiant Stadium holds 65,000 people, and T-Mobile arena has a 20,000-person capacity.

FOX 5 has reached out to to the Governor’s Office and the Oakland A’s for response.