With Joe Lombardo ousting Governor Steve Sisolak to claim Nevada’s top job, the Las Vegas sports market is losing a big lawyer; Will Lombardo support the Oakland Athletics ballpark grant?



By Alan Snel, Editor/Editor of LVSportsBiz.com

With Republican Joe Lombardo set to oust Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, Las Vegas sports teams and industry have lost one of their biggest supporters and sports fans in the state’s highest office.

Sisolak was a strong supporter of Southern Nevada’s $750 million grant to help build the Raiders’ stadium just west of the Strip. Sisolak aired two TV commercials highlighting its support for the Raiders, Las Vegas Aces, Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Formula 1 Grand Prix scheduled for November 2023. Even emphasizing the growth of the sport in Las Vegas in his political spots, the theme of sports was not enough to put Sisolak over the top.

Sisolak was also good friends with Raiders owner Mark Davis and did not support any public money for a possible Oakland Athletics ballpark in Las Vegas. Davis and Athletics weren’t friends when they shared Oakland’s Coliseum stadium.

Raiders/Aces owner Mark Davis and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak at the recent NFL Draft in Las Vegas in late April. Photo credit: J. Tyge O’Donnell/LVSportsBiz.com

Lombardo, who will go from Clark County sheriff to Nevada governor, has been silent on using public money to subsidize sports venues or sponsor sporting events in southern Nevada.

What is his position on using public funds to help build a baseball stadium for the Oakland Athletics in Las Vegas? He didn’t broach the subject.

It should be noted that it was former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, Sisolak’s predecessor, who was the pivotal public elected official who sparked the Raiders’ stadium project by creating a panel of tourist infrastructure in Las Vegas who supported the construction of a stadium for the NFL team.

Former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval

Sandoval, a moderate Republican, backed the $750 million state grant to help build the 62,500-seat Raiders domed stadium that will host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

On the MLB front, the Oakland Athletics are trying to reach a deal with the City of Oakland for a waterfront baseball site in Oakland.

But if that deal fails, will the State of Nevada, Clark County, or Southern Nevada designate public funds to help fund the construction of a possible track and field ballpark in Las Vegas?

Fans have seen Lombardo attending Vegas Golden Knights games, but it will be interesting to see if he sits on the court at Las Vegas Aces games like Sisolak did last season at Michelob Ultra Arena in Mandalay Bay.

Steve Sisolak at the Aces game.

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