Schools Over Stadiums committee opposes Las Vegas ballpark

September 7, 2023
By

The political action committee has begun a referendum petition to repeal state funding for a baseball stadium, aiming for a public vote.

Schools Over Stadiums, a committee formed by the Nevada State Educators Association (NSEA), has opposed a $380m public funding package planned to go toward the proposed $1.5bn Oakland Athletics stadium in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Sun. After the funding bill passed in June, a referendum petition was filed yesterday with the aim of repealing the state tax funding and subjecting it to a public vote.

The signing of this bill follows years of delayed negotiations with Las Vegas officials. Schools Over Stadiums has also added Oakland A’s fans, who wish to keep the team in the San Franciso Bay Area, to their cause.

Dawn Etcheverry, President of the NSEA and Schools Over Stadiums, said in a statement, “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.

“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.”

The baseball stadium is currently expected to open in 2028. The Oakland A’s sent an application for relocation to Major League Baseball last month, according to team owner John Fisher; owners will have the opportunity to vote on approving the move as early as December.

Alexander Marks, a spokesperson for Schools Over Stadiums, said, “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.”

The petition needs 102,362 signatures, or at least 10% of Nevadans who voted in the 2022 general election; at least 25,591 must represent each of Nevada’s four Congressional districts. The organizers have until June 26 2024 to collect the signatures needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

The bill is designed so that Nevada must pay up to $180m in transferable tax credits, though $120m could be made refundable. About $125m in general obligation bonds would be issued by Clark County, which would also invest a separate $25m for stadium’s infrastructure.

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