Teachers Union Lawsuit Swings at A’s Vegas Stadium Deal on New Front
The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) — the teachers union that unsuccessfully sought to put public funding for a new A’s ballpark in Las Vegas to a public vote last summer — is taking a second swing at the A’s ballpark deal through the courts.
On Monday, an NSEA political action committee called Strong Public Schools sued in Carson City’s First Judicial Court to invalidate SB1 on technical grounds. That bill, passed in June, allocated $380M in tax money to fund a Las Vegas stadium for the Oakland Athletics.
The suit — which names Nevada, Gov. Joe Lombardo, and state treasurer Zach Conine as defendants — alleges that SB1 violates Nevada’s constitution. As legislation that creates public revenue, the suit alleges, the bill required a two-thirds majority vote in both Nevada’s Assembly and Senate, which it didn’t get.
The lawsuit also alleges that the bill doesn’t meet requirements to provide cost calculations and that it forces the state to wrongly assume debts from Clark County.
“This is around the A’s and (owner) John Fisher’s efforts to get the financing for the balance of the roughly $1.1 billion dollars that he needs to put together,” union spokesperson Chris Daly told The Athletic, which broke the story.
“We’re doing everything we can to make the road harder for them. Because our ultimate goal is to fund Nevada schools, and we think SB1 and the stadium deal goes in the wrong direction.”
The A’s were not named as a defendant in the suit.
Though another NSEA PAC, Schools Over Stadiums, lost its bid in court in November to turn SB1 into a referendum, that decision is currently being appealed. If the appeal succeeds, the NSEA would need to collect over 100,000 signatures by June. That process would likely cost more than $1 million, which the group would need to raise in an almost impossibly short timeframe.
“We’re going to need institutional players to step up in order to help us qualify this,” Daly told The Athletic. “Some of the (A’s) fan groups, some of the leaders seem committed to soldiering on and trying to raise a million dollars. And I say, ‘Thank you, I don’t want to tell you you can’t do it, because you’ve done a lot of things that I have never seen before already.’”
The A’s have said they will build a 30K-seat ballpark in place of the Tropicana, the classic Strip casino whose owner, Bally’s Corp,. plans to implode it later this year.
The ballclub hopes its stadium will be ready for the 2028 baseball season.
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