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September 24, 2017

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Legislation tasks campus authority with defining, designing new UNLV stadium


Majestic Realty Co.

A rendering of the proposed UNLV Now mega-events center shows how the stadium would look during a Rebels football game.

UNLV Now Stadium Renderings

UNLV Now mega events center rendering. Launch slideshow »

The UNLV stadium bill was gutted of a key provision this week: creation of a special tax district around the university to help finance the proposed on-campus facility.

Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, introduced an amended bill Thursday that has no language pertaining to a tax-increment financing district, which would have allowed any new tax money generated by the stadium to help fund its construction.

The amended bill would still create an expanded "Campus Improvement Authority," which would be asked to study the "need and feasibility" for an on-campus facility, whether it's a football stadium or a mega-events center as has been bandied about in past conversations.

This authority, which initially was intended to oversee tax-increment financing money generated on campus by the proposed stadium, will have 18 months to come up with recommendations and a plan for a new stadium project by the 2015 Legislative session. The authority’s focus would be on the general design, size, cost and funding for the stadium project.

"I got rid of 99.9 percent of the bill, but I do believe the (authority) is important," Kirkpatrick told legislators Thursday. "It allows them to really have a solid conversation and a solid plan of what their own expectations are."

The authority will have two more members than originally proposed: one appointed by the Senate majority leader and one appointed by the speaker of the Assembly. The expanded 11-member board also would include representatives from Nevada's higher education system, the Clark County Commission and the Las Vegas resort community.

Similar to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the UNLV campus authority would be a public entity with no members receiving compensation. The authority would conduct its first meeting in October and submit a final report to the Legislature by October 2014.

"I do believe in the project and the university is the right place to have something that is beneficial at UNLV," Kirkpatrick told legislators this week. "(This bill) takes (UNLV) back to ground zero to move forward."

UNLV Now project leader Don Snyder commended Kirkpatrick for the amended bill, which will now have a better shot at passing the tax-minded Legislature.

“This bill will provide the structure to bring together stakeholders to confirm the need for a mega-events center and then create a design and implementation plan for a facility which will truly meet the needs of the university and the region," Snyder said.

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