By ALAN SNEL
There’s no secret the Raiders have been eyeing the Bali Hai Golf Club on the Strip for parking seeing that the NFL team is more than 13,000 parking spaces shy of complying with Clark County parking standards for the team’s stadium site off Russell Road and Polaris Avenue on the west side of I-15.
Jailed gambler Bill Walters has a lease with Clark County on the 155-acre BLM site to run the 18-hole golf course. The county manages the site for the BLM.
But even if the Raiders — or anyone — buys the balance of the Walters lease to gain control of the land, there’s a couple of issues that will have to be dealt with.
First, the feds have sued Clark County over the Bureau of Land Management land, alleging the county has not been collecting enough money from Walters over the years. The Department of Justice would like Clark County to pay $75,536,455 in underpayments, alleging Walters’ rent payments to the county — and projected payments for the balance of the lease — is way under fair market land values.
The legal issues “will have to get unraveled a bit,” County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said. Sisolak noted the feds would like anyone using that BLM land to pay $1.5 million – $2 million annually for use of the land. Walters did not pay anything to the county for a decade, and only $100,000 a year since 2011.
Second, if the Raiders buy the balance of the Walters lease with Clark County, the land will have to be re-zoned to allow parking at the site, which sits just south of the Russell Road intersection on the Strip.
“The county has to agree to the parking lot,” Sisolak told LVSportsBiz.com Saturday.
The county has given the Raiders approvals for the stadium so far, so it’s doubtful Clark County commissioners would stand in the way of the NFL team using the golf course site for parking if the Raiders bought the balance of the Walters lease.
But there is the federal lawsuit against Clark County claiming the county owes the feds more than $75 million.
And what will the Raiders pay to the county for using the BLM land for a parking lot if the team buys the Walters lease? The Raiders are hoping to build the $1.9 billion stadium project by 2020, with the 65,000-seat, domed venue set to open in summer 2020.
Don’t fire up those parking lot construction machines quite yet at the golf course site.
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