Tax increase yields $4.6M for Raiders' Vegas stadium in first month

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File - In this Tuesday, March 28, 2017, file photo, a patch of land that has been named as a possible site for a Raiders football stadium sits empty near the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. Taxpayers contributed over $4.6 million for an NFL stadium in Las Vegas during March, when an increase on area hotel taxes went into effect to cover the state's share of the project. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) — John Locher

LAS VEGAS – Taxpayers contributed more than $4.6 million for an NFL stadium in Las Vegas in the first month that a new increase on area hotel taxes went into effect— ahead of projections for the state's share of the project.

The preliminary tax collection figures from March for the stadium that the Oakland Raiders want to call home were released Tuesday. The bulk of the money came from resorts and other lodging facilities in and around the Las Vegas Strip, where tourists are paying about $1.50 more per night on their hotel bill for an average-priced room.

"I think it validates the model in terms of what's necessary to service the debt for the stadium," said Steve Sisolak, commission chairman in Clark County, where the stadium is to be located. "It's nice to see money actually collected and start to put some money in the bank for the stadium."

The Nevada Legislature approved the tax hike last year to cover $750 million of the $1.9 billion project.

The board overseeing the proposed 65,000-seat domed stadium expects the tax hike to bring in $14.8 million by the end of June. That's $3.7 million a month. Next fiscal year, officials expect to bring in $49.9 million.

The board is expected to meet publicly Thursday to discuss progress on a stadium development agreement and a lease agreement.

The NFL approved the Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas last month. The team is already allowing fans to place refundable $100 deposits to secure personal seat licenses even though a site has not been picked for the stadium. Officials are eying land near the Las Vegas Strip with a goal of having the stadium ready for the 2020 season.

The Raiders and the NFL are expected to contribute $500 million to the stadium project. In addition, the team has said it has secured a $650 million loan from the Bank of America to cover the rest of the project's cost.

The team had to secure the loan after casino mogul Sheldon Adelson pulled his multimillion-dollar pledge for the project.