The University of Nevada-Las Vegas has cut a deal with the Oakland Raiders to rent their new Las Vegas stadium once it opens in 2020, and it sounds like the university made out pretty well:
Per the draft agreement, UNLV would be able to sell as many as 70 percent of the anticipated 100 luxury suites for its six annual home games in the $1.8 billion stadium. The university would keep money from those sales, as well as club level and non-premium seat revenues as well. Off-limits would be 22 “owner’s level” suites and eight other designated suites.
The first draft terms would have given the Raiders exclusive right to sell luxury suites and club seating for UNLV football games as part of larger packages including Raiders games and other major events…
UNLV maintains control of its parking destiny as well, a notable change from the deal first proposed by the Raiders. The agreement explicitly states that “no portion of UNLV’s property will be used by (the Raiders) for parking for Raiders’ home games or other stadium events.” It also allows UNLV the right to use and maintain revenue from the stadium’s 2,375 on-site parking spaces.
UNLV also can use any off-site parking sites obtained or leased by the Raiders, but the Raiders would keep revenue from those areas.
Given that Raiders execs initially wanted to keep all the luxury-suite money from UNLV games (only paying the university the equivalent price for regular tickets) and to use 80 acres of school land for parking, this is a nice bit of negotiating by the university. That they were able to pull it off no doubt comes down to one line in the Las Vegas Sun article about all this:
Senate Bill 1, the state legislation approved in October 2016 that provided $750 million in taxpayer funds to build the stadium, required the Raiders to share the facility with UNLV’s football team as a condition of receiving the money.
When there’s $750 million at risk, that’ll bring the other side to the negotiating table in a hurry. Not that UNLV doesn’t still deserve props — as we’ve covered here before at length, not every public negotiator knows how to use leverage even when it’s handed to them on a silver platter. But at least one public institution showed it could drive a hard bargain, even if it decidedly wasn’t the state stadium authority.