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Waste of the Day: Nevada Court Stops Referendum to Repeal Stadium Funding



Nevada quarter reverse coin

Nevada is getting an Oakland Las Vegas A’s stadium, like it or not.

Key facts: The Nevada government last year agreed to provide $380 million of the $1.5 billion needed for the Oakland Athletics to relocate to Las Vegas.

The political action committee Schools Over Stadiums quickly formed to oppose the spending plan, arguing that the money should go toward education, since Nevada ranks 48th in the country in spending per student.

The PAC added a ballot question for this November, asking voters if they wanted to repeal the $380 million finance deal, but a lower court ruled in May that the full context of the question couldn’t be fully explained in 200 words — the maximum length for a referendum question in the state.

Waste of the Day: Nevada court stops referendum to repeal stadium funding
Waste of the Day 6.11.24 by Open the Books

The Nevada Supreme Court upheld the ruling this May, saying the ballot question is “misleading” and “explains the general effect of a referendum, but it does not describe the practical effects of this specific referendum,” according to CBS News. The court said the full 66-page funding bill would need to appear on the ballot, which is impossible under current law.

Schools Over Stadiums says it will attempt to have the referendum go to voters in 2026.

Nevada already provided $750 million for the NFL’s Raiders to move from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2020, which at the time was the highest-ever public investment in a stadium.


Cost overruns – how typical!

Background: Pushback over publicly-financed sports stadiums has reached a new gear this year as price tag records continue to be broken.

From 2020 to 2022, U.S. taxpayers paid $750 million of the $1.97 billion it took to build five new stadiums around the country, bringing the public cost above $30 billion since 1990.

That looks like a bargain today. The new Buffalo Bills stadium will cost taxpayers $850 million, and the Cleveland Browns want their city to chip in $1.2 billion for a new stadium.

Lawmakers and team owners say the tourism boost and job creations offset the cost, but that’s often not the case.

Judith Grant Long, a professor of urban planning at the University of Michigan, told Colorado Newsline that “mounds of peer-reviewed academic research shows that stadium and arena investments cost more than their economic benefits.”


J.C. Bradbury, economics professor at Kennesaw State University, agreed that stadiums are “really poor public investments … without exception.”

It’s not as if stadiums can’t be financed without taxpayer subsidies. Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke privately raised all $5.5 billion needed to build SoFi Stadium in 2020, the world’s most expensive stadium.

Summary: Even though the legislators funding the Athletics’ stadium were popularly elected, Nevada taxpayers deserve a more direct voice in how their $380 million will be spent.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

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Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski) is the CEO/founder of Before dedicating his life to public service, Adam co-founded HomePages Directories, a $20 million publishing company (1997-2007). His works have been featured on the BBC, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, FOX News, CNN, National Public Radio (NPR), Forbes, Newsweek, and many other national media.

Today, is the largest private repository of U.S. public-sector spending. Mission: post "every dime, online, in real time." In 2022, captured nearly all public expenditures in the country, including nearly all disclosed federal government spending; 50 of 50 state checkbooks; and 25 million public employee salary and pension records from 50,000 public bodies across America.

The group's aggressive transparency and forensic auditing of government spending has led to the assembly of grand juries, indictments, and successful prosecutions; congressional briefings, hearings, and subpoenas; Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits; Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports; federal legislation; and much more.

Our Honorary Chairman - In Memoriam is U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, MD.

Andrzejewski's federal oversight work was included in the President's Budget To Congress FY2021. The budget cited his organization by name, bullet-pointed their findings, and footnoted/hyperlinked to their report.

Posted on YouTube, Andrzejewski's presentation, The Depth of the Swamp, at the Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar 2020 in Naples, Florida received 3.8 million views.

Andrzejewski has spoken at the Columbia School of Journalism, Harvard Law School and the law schools at Georgetown and George Washington regarding big data journalism. As a senior policy contributor at Forbes, Adam had nearly 20 million pageviews on 206 published investigations. In 2022, investigative fact-finding on Dr. Fauci's finances led to his cancellation at Forbes.

In 2022, Andrzejewski did 473 live television and radio interviews across broadcast, major cable platforms, and radio shows. Andrzejewski is the author of The Waste of the Day column at Real Clear Policy. The column is syndicated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, owners of nearly 200 ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates across USA.

Andrzejewski lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with his wife Kerry and three daughters. He is a lector at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church and has finished the Chicago Marathon eight times (PR 3:58.49 in 2022).


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