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Sands Pitches Tourism Committee On Stadium

Las Vegas Sands casino executives told a tourism panel Thursday that the $1.3 billion, NFL-ready stadium they want to build at UNLV could transform Las Vegas' tourism sector, as long as officials are willing to put public money toward it.

Sands officials, consultants and developers from Majestic Realty spoke to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee about the 65,000-seat, enclosed venue they want to see on the campus, hopefully shared between an NFL team and UNLV's football squad.

They acknowledged that landing a professional sports franchise is far from a done deal.

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But they noted they had been meeting with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis about relocating and argued the idea was more than a fantasy.

Company officials declined to offer specifics about how much public money they were seeking, although preliminary reports from the company indicated they wanted $780 million from sources such as a hotel room tax.

Critics said they are concerned that the project would divert limited room-tax dollars away from an ongoing effort to upgrade and expand the Las Vegas Convention Center.