It just doesn’t get any more blatant than this. The lede story in the Sunday Las Vegas newspaper is a 1,600-word interview with the paper’s owner, Sheldon Adelson, shilling his stadium proposal.
In it Adelson claims this is all for the public’s benefit. Why, it is like charity, like the millions he donates to support drug abuse treatment and research. He is taking his own money right out of his own rather deep pockets. Feel the warmth. Feel the love.
The story says his Las Vegas Sands Corp. board of directors turned down his proposal to fund a 65,000-seat domed football stadium near the Strip to house the Oakland Raiders, UNLV football, soccer, concerts, etc.
“So he’s willing to spend his own money to get the dome built — at least $650 million. And because the stadium’s $1.9-billion financing plan calls for the use of $750 million in hotel room tax money, Adelson said he won’t receive any return on his personal contribution,” the story tells us. Another $500 million is supposed to
come from the Raiders and the National Football League.
Pay no attention to the fact he wants to fill hotel rooms with stadium visitors. Pay no attention to the fact the other project competing for that room tax money is an expansion of the publicly owned convention center, which competes with his privately owned Sands Expo.
At one point he inadvertently gave away why he now wants the stadium to be publicly owned.
“The amount of money that can be made by this stadium is so small that we [Las Vegas Sands], as the largest gaming operator in the world, make that same amount of money in one or two days, maybe three sometimes,” Adelson is quoted as saying.
So, dump the risk that it will actually lose money onto the taxpayers, too. That’s the ticket. Stick the suckers coming and going.