Las Vegas Stadium is said by some publications to be ahead of schedule, but that view is suspect, at best.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority (LVSA) Meeting for November 14th 2018 is less than a day away, and the page presenting its agenda and background information point to problems, on-going and new. Finally, and for the first time since July 19th, 2018, the LVSA posted the revenue chart from the stadium tax on hotels rooms.
That money is nothing to sneeze at: it’s used for the contruction of the stadium itself. What’s being collected now is what’s called “pay-go” revenue that’s passed to the Oakland Raiders / Mortensen / McCarthy contractors who are building the facility. The revenue stream does not apply to the pay-down of the $643 million bond (of the $750 million total subsidy) until 2019.
So, the tax revenue that’s to be brought in per month is to equal or be more than $107 million. Thus, since that’s money that has to be collected from the stadium hotel tax stream, any monthly level of revenue less than the originally expected $5 million per month is a concern. That brings us to this problem of the poor monthly hotel tax revenue stream, and the poor reporting of it by the LVSA.
For the July 19th Las Vegas Stadium Authority Meeting, a chart was posted that showed an overall difference between the LVSA budget and the “actual” budget of $1,479,872, or a difference of 2.4 percent. No update was posted or presented during the September 20th meeting, meanwhile the tax revenue for that month was $3,676,681 and not $3,897,529 according to a Twitter tweet by now-Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.
— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) October 17, 2018
A simple comparison of time-series data would tell anyone revenue from the stadium tax was declining versus the previous year: a problem borne of 12 months of declines in Las Vegas visitor counts versus the previous year. Yet, the issue was not presented for public discussion by the LVSA.
Now, the LVSA presents the first revenue report in three months. It shows a difference between the LVSA budget and the “actual” budget of $467,239 or 0.6 percent. That’s a dramatic decline of $1,013,633 between “difference” in July and September.
Moreover, if Sisolak’s report of $3,676,681 were used and not $3,897,529, the $220,848 difference would have cut the total reported budget difference of $467,239 down to $246,391. And there’s still another issue.
The other issue is that neither the LVSA or Governor Sisolak posted stadium hotel tax revenue for October, and it’s now November 13th. So, we really don’t know if the LVSA has reached a budget position where it’s once notable “difference” is down to zero, or not.
On top of that, guess what folks, this is the last Las Vegas Stadium Authority Meeting meeting of the 2018 year. That means, unless the LVSA gets religion and posts the October 2018 stadium hotel tax revenue data tomorrow, the real information on the financial health of the government-ran stadium organization is, for all practical purposes, hidden from the public.
The LVSA could be running a deficit and the public would not know it. So much for sunshine.
And that brings us to the discussion of the Las Vegas Stadium labor problem. This was brought to my attention via a viewer who reads the blog LVSportsBiz.com. The man who runs that publication, Alan Snel, wrote a post called “Raiders Stadium Consultant Concerned About Impact Of Available Iron Workers On Steel Work.”
The report which is on the agenda page for tomorrow’s LVSA meeting does point to a problem. In the words of Mr. Snel:
“the status report for Wednesday’s stadium board meeting agenda concluded with an interesting little nugget provided by the stadium authority’s outside construction consultant, Grand Canyon Construction Partners (GCDP). Grand Canyon Construction said that it was noted in previous reports that the Raiders stadium contractor (the Mortsenson-McCarthy tandem) has chosen to accelerate the steel erection of the venue to make up for lost time in concrete work. (The stadium is projected to be complete in July 2020.)
Grand Canyon Construction also noted that it has been advised that the labor pool for union iron workers in the metro Las Vegas area is “almost exhausted.”
With that in mind, GCDP “is concerned that this may have a negative effect on the contractor’s ability to capture lost construction time,” according to the meeting agenda status report. Stadium authority staff has requested Grand Canyon Development Partners closely monitor the situation, “as this may pose a heightened risk for project delays.”
In the status report for Wednesday’s meeting, there was another issue raised by Grand Canyon Development Partners. “In its October submission, GCDP noted that StadCo (the Raiders) had omitted previous provided milestone data from its monthly reports. GCDP indicated that it was ‘important to identify previously identified open dates,’ and they intend to ‘continue to track these and other anticipated complete dates’ as part of their project monitoring efforts,” according to the status report item for Wednesday’s meeting.”
In other words, in pure English, the idea that Las Vegas Stadium will be opened by July 31st 2020 is pure fantasy – this confirms that. Right now, we don’t know what the real end date of construction, or the true stadium opening day will be.
So, if Mark Davis wants to stay in Oakland for 2019, he might as well extend his plans to include 2020. Well, as it happens, the proposed Oakland lease extension does just that.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media