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Nevada Senate vote on proposed A's Las Vegas stadium postponed

Nevada Senate vote on proposed A's Las Vegas stadium postponed
Nevada Senate vote on proposed A's Las Vegas stadium postponed 03:19

CARSON CITY -- The Nevada Senate adjourned Thursday without voting on a financing bill for a proposed $1.5 billion Las Vegas Strip stadium for the Oakland Athletics, extending the special legislative session into the next week amid negotiations over whether to contribute $380 million in public funding to the project.

The measure can still be amended by lawmakers and, if it passes the Senate, it would still need approval from the Assembly before going to the desk of Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who has expressed support for it. Both the state Senate and Assembly are adjourned until Monday.

In a hearing that began Wednesday and stretched into the early morning hours Thursday, lawmakers peppered tourism officials and a representative from a firm partnering with the ball club with questions about the feasibility and benefits of financing such a deal.

Athletics Las Vegas Baseball
View of proposed new ballpark at the Tropicana site in Las Vegas.  / AP

Public funds for the stadium would mainly come from $180 million in transferable tax credits and $120 million in county bonds. Backers have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium would generate enough money to pay off those bonds and interest. The plan would not directly raise taxes.

The A's would not owe property taxes for the publicly owned stadium. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, would also contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

A's representatives and some tourism officials say a deal would further grow Las Vegas' developing sports scene and act as an economic engine, but a growing chorus of economists and some lawmakers warn that the project would bring minimal benefits for the hefty public price tag. 

Many A's fans have been closely watching the special session in Nevada. This latest development has given them renewed hope of keeping their team rooted in Oakland.

"This is kind of a 911 emergency call for A's fans to rally together and fight just to keep the A's in Oakland," said Anson Casanares with the Oakland 68s.

The 68s are organizing a reverse boycott for next Tuesday to show just how much the green and gold means to Oakland and Bay Area fans. "We're here. We care. If you're going to try to take the A's out of Oakland, we're not going to go down without a fight," Casanares said.

Oakland fans are hoping Nevada lawmakers pass on what they call a stadium scam. The biggest win will be to get A's owner John Fisher to sell the team.

"It's not just losing a baseball team. It's not just A's fans being able to watch baseball, it's bigger than baseball. It's bigger than sports," Casanares said.

KPIX correspondent Andrea Nakano contributed to this report

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