Nevada Gov. calls for special legislative session to reconsider Oakland A’s Las Vegas stadium funding bill

The Oakland Athletics’ Las Vegas stadium funding bill, Senate Bill 509, hit a roadblock earlier this week as Nevada lawmakers failed to pass it before the Legislature adjourned. However, a special session has been called to reconsider public financing for the stadium plan.

This bill aims to allocate up to $380 million in public funds for the construction of the A’s planned 30,000-seat, $1.5 billion Strip ballpark on the site of the Tropicana Las Vegas resort. Gov. Joe Lombardo on Tuesday evening issued a proclamation calling the Legislature into a second special session to discuss the move, reports Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Much like regular sessions, special sessions have a time limit: 20 consecutive days, including the day on which they start. The governor can, however, extend the session with a subsequent proclamation and bring additional items to the agenda during a special session. It is yet unclear how many days the second special session will last.

Rendering for the proposed A's ballpark in Vegas

Even if the A’s stadium bill passes in the special session, other MLB owners still need to approve the relocation, and the franchise needs to prove it can fund the rest of the $1.5 billion project. According to Review-Journal, MLB owners won’t vote on the A’s potential Las Vegas move when they meet next week, even if the bill is signed into law. They likely will hold a conference call over Zoom to vote at a later date once a relocation application has been filed and reviewed.

The public funding plan includes $180 million from the state in transferable tax credits, of which $90 million would be repaid via a sports entertainment improvement district set up around the 9-acre stadium site. Clark County would contribute $145 million, of which $120 million would be repaid by revenue generated by the tax district, with $25 million going toward infrastructure improvements.

The A’s have been focused on landing a stadium deal in Las Vegas since April 19, when they signed a binding purchase agreement for a potential ballpark site owned by Red Rock Resorts. That same night, the city of Oakland ceased negotiations with the team over discussions to build a waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square.

Just a few weeks later, the franchise pivoted to a second agreement with Bally’s Corporation for a nine-acre plot on the site of the Tropicana Las Vegas resort. The timing of passage of the A’s public funding bill, if it ultimately happens, is expected to not have any bearing on when MLB owners could approve the team’s relocation to Vegas.