Las Vegas Sun

August 28, 2015

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Petition supporting Strip arena advances with 221,874 signatures

CARSON CITY – A proposal to build a sports and entertainment arena on the Las Vegas Strip has cleared another hurdle.

The Secretary of State’s office said today the backers of the project gathered 221,874 signatures on their initiative petition, far in excess of the 97,002 signers required.

Deputy Secretary of State Matt Griffin said the petition now would be returned to the state's counties to verify that 5 percent of those who signed the petition were registered voters.

The petition calls for an increase of 0.9 percent in the sales and use tax to build an arena with at least 18,000 seats to attract an NBA or NHL team. The tax would be imposed in a gaming enterprise zone on the Strip.

Signatures were required in each of Nevada’s three congressional districts.

Griffin said there were 53,199 signatures obtained in District 1. The requirement was 24,944 in the district represented by Rep. Shelley Berkley. The backers of the stadium collected 70,227 signatures in District 2, where 34,479 were required. This is the district of Rep. Dean Heller and encompasses rural areas of the state.

In District 3, Griffin said 88,448 signatures were obtained, while 37,561 were required. This is the district of Rep. Dina Titus.

If the petition passes its test of having 5 percent of registered voters verified, it would be presented to the 2011 Nevada Legislature, which must act on it within 40 days. It can approve, reject or modify the proposal.

If the Legislature rejects, modifies or doesn't take action, the petition would go on the statewide election ballot in 2012.

The proposal has been backed by Harrah’s but is opposed by MGM Resorts International.

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