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Athletics look to intervene in lawsuit over Las Vegas stadium funding bill

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(The Center Square) – The Oakland Athletics have asked a Carson City court to intervene in a lawsuit brought earlier this year by the public action committee Strong Public Schools Nevada related to funding for a new Athletics stadium in Las Vegas.

The lawsuit named Nevada, Treasurer Zach Conine and Gov. Joe Lombardo as defendants along with Clark County and the Las Vegas Stadium Authority but the Athletics are looking to intervene on their own behalf, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, as the legislation at stake would fund a new stadium at the now-closed Tropicana hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

The filing noted that the Athletics say they have completed several milestones in the relocation process including submitting a relocation application, hiring a construction manager, having relocation approved by Major League Baseball, releasing renderings and closing the Tropicana hotel in October, the Review-Journal said.

The legislation gives the A’s until May 2025 to get stadium agreements in place, 18 months after MLB approved the deal.

Senate Bill 1 provides up to $380 million in public funding including a tax capture at the complex expected not only to pay off up to $175 million in bonds but also to fund future capital projects at the stadium, which will be required by a “first-class” clause in a 30-year lease the Athletics plan to sign.

The Strong Public Schools Nevada committee, affiliated with the Nevada State Education Association, claims that SB1 is unconstitutional for five reasons including because it requires a two-thirds majority in each legislative chamber that creates, generates or increases public revenue in any form.

The lawsuit claims public revenue is created through seat licensing provisions in the bill.

The lawsuit also claims that the bill does not follow the requirement of having clear legislative intent authorizing an expenditure with a maximum amount set aside. Instead, the bill authorizes the treasurer to pull unspecified amounts to pay Clark County bond debt.

The ballpark is expected to have a capacity of 33,000 and an 18,000-square-foot Jumbotron, according to the team.