Facing opposition, group revises Las Vegas soccer stadium proposal

SOCCER FIGHT: Proponents of a Major League Soccer stadium have faced push back from elected officials and residents.

By Michael Chamberlain | WatchdogWire.com

After running into opposition during recent Las Vegas City Council meetings and town halls with residents, a group attempting to convince the Council to provide public funding for a Major League Soccer stadium is floating a new proposal to the xity.

The revised proposal would reduce the City’s risk by nearly $70 million, though it would also reduce the City’s ownership stake in the stadium.

According to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report:

The new deal calls for the city to borrow a maximum of $50 million instead of the $115 million proposed in the old deal, with Cordish/Findlay assuming a debt of $65 million as a move to reduce the city’s financial risk.

The new deal was finalized late Thursday afternoon, an hour before a 6 p.m. news conference to announce the revised funding proposal.

“We heard (from residents) that the city had too much risk,” said Justin Findlay, managing partner of Findlay Sports.

Added Cordish Chief Operating Officer Zed Smith: “The considerable risk has been shifted.”

A post on Las Vegas’s blog from Thursday indicates the city would also spend $14 million on infrastructure around the stadium area, part of a 61-acre parcel named Symphony Park near the intersection of Interstate 15 and US 95 in downtown Las Vegas.

The city would also still commit $22 million in Sales Tax Anticipated Revenue Bonds (STAR).

The city would own a portion of the stadium but not all of it.

No new taxes would be required and community events would still take place at the stadium.

An earlier feasibility study prepared by AECOM and submitted by the Cordish Findlay group contained a $4 million annual “hole”, which was discovered by Ward 2 Councilman Bob Beers and reported on his blog. Last week a revised study was submitted correcting the error.

Three City Council members — Steve Ross, Ricki Barlow and Mayor Carolyn Goodman — supported the previous stadium proposal while three others — Beers, Bob Coffin and Stavros Anthony — expressed opposition. Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian is considered a swing vote on the proposal.

During a series of townhall meetings, city officials encountered opposition from residents concerned about the City’s contributions and risk in the stadium.

Read the complete story at WatchdogWire.com

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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