Monday morning in front of the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, the push for a new stadium to house the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and the Mountain West Conference’s UNLV Rebels received another significant endorsement.
Legendary Raiders defensive end Howie Long, with Rebels head coach Tony Sanchez and UNLV President Len Jessup also in attendance, spoke enthusiastically about the possibilities a new stadium would bring to Southern Nevada.
Between Oakland and Los Angeles, Long spent 13 seasons with the Raiders, but was unflinching in his support of a move to Las Vegas.
“There are so many possibilities, this is the opportunity for the city to evolve,” Long said.
Opportunity was certainly on the mind of Sanchez, who views a new stadium as a fantastic recruiting tool, hopefully bring in talent the caliber of the eight-time Pro Bowl selection.
“One day we can recruit guys like Howie Long,” Sanchez said.
Also present at Monday’s rally for the proposed $1.9 billion, 65,000 seat domed stadium was Steve Hill, the chairman of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee and director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, former Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones Blackhurst and Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly. The Laborers International Union Local 872 was represented by Tommy White.
Public funding totaling $750 million is needed for the project. Next week a special session of the Nevada Legislature will discuss a proposed 0.88% increase in Clark County’s 12% hotel room tax. If the tax is approved, the Raiders have pledged to ask for relocation approval from the NFL.
On August 21st a column written by Sanchez for the Las Vegas Sun illustrated his vision and support of a new stadium project and spoke of the “investment in infrastructure.” The Rebels have played at Sam Boyd Stadium since 1971.