UNLV President Len Jessup addresses Nevada Board of Regents regarding UNLV-Raiders stadium joint use deal. The Regents did not vote on the stadium agreement. It was strictly a discussion forum. UNLV Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois is at table, listening.

UNLV Might Have To Pay $250,000 Per Game To Use Raiders Stadium Starting In 2020


UNLV rendering of Raiders stadium field with Rebels name on the field.




The Nevada Board of Regents got its first public chance to hear the UNLV-Raiders joint use deal at the new Raiders stadium and it was strictly a forum for discussion. So, there was no vote. Here is LVSportsBiz.com’s Top 10 takeaways from this session.


1. A per game rental fee of $250,000 ( a “rough estimate”) was mentioned as the cost for UNLV to use the new Raiders stadium, though UNLV outside lawyer Dan Etna said that rental charge could be adjusted down. But the $250,000 per game rent fee is a big increase over the $50,000 to $75,000 UNLV spends to hold a football game at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Dan Etna, an outside UNLV lawyer with the New York law firm of Herrick, Feinstein LLP, addresses the Nevada Board of Regents this morning.



2. The Raiders want to use natural turf for their games and UNLV wants to use artificial turf. So, stadium workers will slide natural turf into the $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed for Raiders games and then slide in the artificial surface for Rebels games.


3. UNLV will receive all game-day revenues such as ticket sales, leasing about 70 suites and sponsorship deals. UNLV cannot use an advertiser that would conflict with a Raiders’ advertiser that has exclusivity sponsorship rights deal at the stadium.

UNLV Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois at table as UNLV President Len Jessup addresses the Nevada Board of Regents this morning.


4. Several Board of Regents members were perplexed about why there is no language in the stadium use deal to allow UNLV to leave the agreement. Several UNLV and Regents lawyers explained UNLV already has the right to drop out of the joint-use deal, but several Regents members wanted to have that in writing in the agreement.


5. Regent Cedric Crear was the most vocal board member, saying he was concerned over the Raiders or NFL bumping UNLV football games because of scheduling issues. Crear was also concerned that UNLV outside lawyer Etna should be focusing on the interests of UNLV and not the Raiders. But after the meeting, Etna told LVSportsBiz.com he was trying to explain to Crear what the Raiders can expect to have under the state legislation that created the Raiders stadium in Las Vegas. Etna said he was trying to “manage expectations” for Crear.


6. Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, before the meeting, joked with Regent Trevor Hayes “to take it easy on us” during the question-and-answer discussion session. By the length of the meeting and the number of questions, I don’t think that happened.

County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, wearing a Golden Knights jacket, talks with UNLV President Len Jessup (left) and stadium board member Tommy White (center).


7. UNLV has a big “waterfall” payment in its back pocket if revenues drop from moving from Sam Boyd Stadium to new Raiders stadium. UNLV can receive up to $3.5 million a year for 10 years from the state if there is a revenue stream loss by making the move to the new venue.


8. Stadium board chairman Steve Hill said the stadium panel surveyed other NFL stadiums that are used by college football teams and found the stadium use expenses ranged from $100,000 to $175,000 per game. So the $250,000 per game rent for UNLV games at the Raiders stadium is not set in stone, said Etna, the UNLV outside lawyer. And UNLV President Len Jessup said revenues from UNLV football games at the Raiders stadium will be reviewed to make sure that the charged rent is appropriate.

Stadium board chairman Steve Hill (right) chatting with UNLV President Len Jessup (right) before Raiders-UNLV joint-use agreement meeting today.


9. Mandy Shavinksy, the other outside UNLV lawyer, said she needs to clarify whether the Raiders want to play the first-ever football game in the new stadium. UNLV plans to play the University of California Bears for its first game in the new Raiders stadium, said Desiree Reed-Francois, UNLV athletic director.


10. The Board of Regents will likely vote on this UNLV-Raiders stadium use agreement at a Regents board session set for Jan. 19. If the joint-use deal is approved, the agreement then goes before the stadium authority board at a meeting in late January or at the regular February meeting, said Hill, the stadium board chairman.




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Alan Snel

Alan Snel brings decades of sports-business reporting experience to LVSportsBiz.com. Snel covered the business side of sports for the South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel, the Tampa Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal. As a city hall beat reporter, Snel also covered stadium deals in Denver and Seattle. In 2000, Snel launched a sport-business website for FoxSports.com called FoxSportsBiz.com. After reporting sports-business for the RJ, Snel wrote hard-hitting stories on the Raiders stadium for the Desert Companion magazine in Las Vegas and The Nevada Independent. Snel is also one of the top bicycle advocates in the country.

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