Schools Over Stadiums has its proposed ballot referendum petition rejected

November 7, 2023
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The language of the petition was deemed 'legally deficient' and at points 'confusing."

A proposed ballot referendum petition, which aimed to repeal public funding for a new Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium due to be the new home of the Oakland Athletics, has been rejected by a Carson City judge. 

Schools Over Stadiums is seeking a ballot initiave to ask voters to either approve or reject the plans for £380m in public financing going towards the building of the proposed $1.5bn, 33,000-seat stadium. 

This, however, was rejected by the judge, James Russell, at the hearing on Monday in the 1st District Court in Carson City, where he said, “The order of the court is that the referendum petition is legally deficient because it does not provide the full text of the measure … when gathering the necessary signatures as mandated by the Nevada Constitution.” 

Schools Over Stadiums can either resubmit a new referendum petition or appeal the court’s decision at the Nevada Supreme Court. Under state law, they would need to collect at least 102,586 signatures (including 25,647 from each of the state’s four congressional districts) by July 8 2024, in order to qualify the referendum for the ballot. 

Attorney Frank Flaherty, who is representing Schools Over Stadiums, gave his thoughts on the outcome, “There's nothing in the Nevada Constitution or NRS [Nevada Revised Statutes] that says 'oh no, no, you have to go in a numbered order.' 

“No matter how difficult it is for the voters, no matter how much it doesn't make sense. You've got to start with section one and finish with section 46. It doesn’t say that anywhere in the constitution.” 

It was reported at the end of September, that the political action committee was sued by “representatives with ties to the A’s,” as they sought to file a petition to stop tax funding being used for the new stadium of the Oakland A’s. 

The stadium itself is due to be built across 35 acres of Tropicana Las Vegas' land, which in itself has led to more opposition to construction of the stadium, with staff at Bally’s-owned Tropicana leaving, due to job uncertainty. 

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