With the first month of 2021 almost done the stadium authority looked back at the first year of Las Vegas’ landmark — a year they had so much promise derailed by COVID-19.
It’s the most recognizable building you’ve probably never been in: Allegiant Stadium, in all its glory.
You see it from the strip. You’ve seen it on TV. Very few have actually seen the inside.
This was not supposed to be how things went down.
The stadium seemed like such a sure bet to draw in tourism that Nevada officials put money on it. The public funds were coming from the room taxes that those tourists would bring in the stadium authorities.
Steve Hill, the President and COO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, explains it best.
“When we looked at the justification for the stadium it was based solely on the visitors that would come for events,” said Not visitors that would be here anyway or people that lived here,” Hill said.
The pandemic put an end to the dream of stands full of out-of-towners. You can’t get room tax if hotels are closed.
“In November, collections totaled $1.2 million,” said Hill. “That was down 72% from last year.”
The Stadium Authority met this past week and talked about what the pandemic has done.
Nevada made a record commitment to help the Raiders build their stadium: $750 million from the public for construction. The stadium board so bombs to cover it they would pay those bonds with room taxes.
The good news is that, while room taxes are down severely, the stadium authority planned ahead. They have enough money in reserves to cover payments for up to a year and a half.
So, while they tread financial waters, they look to the fall and the next football season.
“We obviously have a world-class stadium that has brought national attention and excitement to Las Vegas,” Hill said.
The authority believe they have a winning ticket, they just have to wait for a pandemic to end the cash it.