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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Las Vegas Tourism Boosts Bonds For Raiders’ $2B Stadium

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

The bond-backed Allegiant Stadium — worth nearly $2 billion and home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders — is on its way back to financial success as tourists flock back to Sin City.

Las Vegas’ Clark County sold $645 million of debt in 2018 for the stadium, backed by hotel room tax revenues. 

At the time, county officials expected the taxes to cover the stadium bond debt service payments through 2048, according to S&P Global Ratings — Clark County hotel occupancy rates were higher than the national average. But tourism dwindled with the pandemic, forcing the county to tap a debt service reserve fund twice in six months to make payment deadlines.

Now, county spokesperson Erik Pappa says it will not need to use the same reserve services to make its December bond payment for the stadium. 

  • Despite still being below pre-pandemic levels, visitors were up almost 83% in October — the “strongest visitation” in the pandemic.
  • S&P director Li Yang says the “missing piece” to a full recovery is business travelers and international visitors.

The omicron COVID variant could have negative effects, too.

“While it is a good sign for Raiders stadium investors, I think it’s too early to signal the all-clear,” Bloomberg Intelligence strategist Eric Kazatsky said.

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