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State lawmakers approve funding for Vegas stadium to lure Raiders

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – 

The Oakland Raiders’ possible move to Las Vegas looked a step closer Friday after Nevada state lawmakers approved legislation aimed at helping finance a 65,000-seat domed stadium for the NFL club.

A supermajority of Nevada lawmakers pushed through the legislation raising the hotel room tax in Clark County — where Las Vegas is located — and Nevada governor Brian Sandoval will sign the bill in Las Vegas on Monday.

“I would like to thank Governor Sandoval, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, and the members of the Nevada Legislature on this historic day,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement posted on the team’s website.

“All parties have worked extremely hard to develop and approve this tremendous stadium project that will serve as a proud new home for the entire Raider Nation.”

A move to Las Vegas would see the Raiders call a third different market home.

Founded in Oakland, they moved to Los Angeles from 1982 through 1994 and then back to Oakland from 1995 until the present.

Their home site was uncertain after they played out their lease in Oakland last season.

When National Football League owners voted to allow the Rams to move back to Los Angeles from St Louis beginning this season, they gave San Diego a year to decide if they want to join the Rams in LA if they can’t work out a deal for a new stadium in San Diego.

They told the Raiders they could join the Rams in LA if the Chargers opt not to.

Since then, however, the push has begun by Las Vegas to bring an NFL team to town. The effort has support from business and civic leaders, who are already set to welcome a National Hockey League expansion franchise scheduled to play its first campaign in October next year.

The Raiders’ relocation also requires the support of 75 percent of the NFL’s 32 club owners.

The tax hike approved on Friday by lawmakers in Carson City, Nevada, required a two-thirds vote in the 42-member state assembly, and it was not clear if enough legislators would support the $1.9 billion project.

When it came to the vote, 28 Democrats and Republicans voted in favor in hopes that NFL owners will approve a Raiders move, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

The vote follows the approval last month by the Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee of $750 million in public funding for the venue, which is also slated to have $500 million coming from the Raiders and $650 million from billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, chief executive of the Sands.

© 2016 AFP

Article source: http://www.france24.com/en/20161015-state-lawmakers-approve-funding-vegas-stadium-lure-raiders