By ALAN SNEL
Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson will probably be ticked off when he hears about this, but State Sen. Tick Segerblom predicts marijuana use will be legal at the Raiders stadium when the $1.9 billion domed venue in Las Vegas opens in 2020.
Segerblom, a legal pot proponent running for Clark County commissioner, believes there will be a process in three years by which an event organizer can get a special use permit for a facility to provide limited access to people 21 or older to consume marijuana.
Sales of recreational marijuana started in Nevada July 1, but cannibis users cannot consume it in public places such as the Strip, hotels, casinos, arenas and stadiums. It’s only allowed in private homes. You’re subject to a $600 fine if you consume marijuana in public.
The irony of Segerblom’s vision of marijuana use at the Raiders stadium is the venue is being built thanks to Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO who spent millions of dollars on anti-marijuana campaigns in Nevada and other states.
Adelson and his lobbyists convinced state legislators last year in a special session called by Gov. Brian Sandoval to approve $750 million for construction of the Raiders stadium. The venue’s site is slated for the west side of I-15 at Russell Road and Polaris Avenue, across the interstate from Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.
But the Raiders stadium won’t open in Las Vegas any time soon.
Which is why Segerblom anticipates that pot will be able to be consumed at the Raiders palatial venue by the time the 65,000-seat football stadium opens in mid-2020 (assuming the construction schedule is met).
“I’d love to see 60,000 concert goers passing around a marijuana joint,” said Segerblom, who has a strain, Segerblom Haze, named after him that is sold at a Las Vegas dispensary.
“It will be used there,” Segerblom predicted.
The $750 million in public money for the Raiders stadium is being raised through a hotel room charge increase. But the public will need to raise $1.2 billion over 30 years to pay off the bonds that will be issued by Clark County in 2018 to cover the $750 million. The $750 million subsidy for the Raiders is an NFL record for public money to build a stadium.
Segerblom opposed the Raiders stadium subsidy. But he figured that if it’s going to built, it should be legal to use marijuana in the venue one day.
“I’m sure it’s already being used in Oakland,” he quipped.
While Segerblom expects marijuana to be legally consumed at the Raiders stadium one day, you will not be allowed to gamble or place sports bets at the venue.
For the record, Section 6.1 and related Exhibit F of the Stadium Operating Lease prohibit, “any Gaming or Gambling, the maintaining or operating of a Gaming Establishment and/or any sports wagering or any wagering on racing or other non-sports events” at the stadium.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com