“We will be able to make our bond payments and that will continue to be the case,” Steve Hill, chairman of the Stadium Authority Board, made clear Thursday at the board’s first meeting since the shutdown of the state’s tourism and hospitality industries because of COVID-19.
Hill says he’s been asked by various parties about the Authority’s ability to make bond payments, given the funding source is the room tax.
“We had collected enough room tax in fiscal year 2020 to be able to make the bond payments with the room tax that has been collected,” Hill said.
Thanks to a recommendation at the time from then-Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee in 2016 recommended stashing away two years of debt service rather than one.
“Bond experts felt a year was sufficient and bond markets felt the same way,” Hill said.
The Stadium Authority has reserved $67.2 million of the targeted total of $90.2 million. Hill said the average debt payment over 30 years is approximately $45 million.
Stadium consultant Jeremy Aguero reported construction of Allegiant Stadium is on time, on budget, and making progress under “less than ideal conditions of the last few months.”
Aguero said the pandemic is complicating efforts to safely move in furniture and coordinate government inspections, but the facility remains on schedule for a July 31st completion.
The elephant in the room — whether the stadium will be populated by fans when it opens — went unmentioned during the meeting.
With 72 days to go, more than 4,000 individuals have been employed and more than 5.5 million “worker hours” have been completed to date, according to project manager Don Webb.
That equates to 2,644 full-time-equivalent jobs, a fraction of the 11,000 direct construction jobs stadium officials touted to state lawmakers in hearings on the public’s $750 million contribution.