Vegas NHL owner: City could have spent Raiders money on ‘police, firefighters and teachers’
Bill Foley, the owner of Las Vegas’s new NHL franchise, criticized the city’s decision to spend $750 million on stadium for the Raiders in a radio interview this week.
“I felt like there were a lot better ways to spend $750 million than bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas,” Foley said, as transcribed by The Mercury News. “We could spend it on police, firefighters and teachers and have them all be the best in the country. But I guess we’re going to spend it on the Raiders. … If I had complete control of the situation, I would not have opted to have the Raiders come here. But I didn’t, so I welcome them.”
Foley’s team, the Vegas Golden Knights, begins play next season at the T-Mobile Arena, a venue built entirely with private funds. The Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas is expected to cost $1.9 billion to build, with $750 million provided by the city. NFL owners approved the franchise’s relocation on Monday.
Foley’s point about teachers is especially salient, considering the city was forced to increase class sizes to address a budget shortfall this school year.
Public funding for stadiums has become an increasingly controversial subject. In June, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman suggested eliminating taxpayer funding for stadiums.