New football stadium coming to Las Vegas

Excitement and anticipation has engulfed Nevada following the reports that a new football stadium could soon grace the Las Vegas Strip. On August 26, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that a 62 acre piece of land belonging to a consortium of banks from New York and Dallas was favored as the venue to host the proposed $1.9 billion, 62,000 sitter football arena. The cost of land, and undisclosed site infrastructure is expected to cost between $350 million to $400 million. The banking consortium that owns the land includes Credit Suisse Management, Barclays Bank, NexBank, and Highland Capital Management.

The swathe of land favored lies west of Mandalay Bay and Interstate 15. The deal, whose final details are yet to be revealed, is a partnership between Raiders Football Team, Las Vegas Sands Corporation and the state of Nevada. As things stand, if the plans come to fruition, a company called Majestic Realty will be tasked with the construction. Owing to the ongoing revelations, Raiders are expected to formally write to the football governing body, the National Football League (NFL) to request for permission to relocate the franchise to Las Vegas from its current home in Oakland Alameda Coliseum in California.

According to the current rules, any NFL team that submits a request for relocation must garner 75% support of the NFL club owners. This means Raiders owners and its partners must ready their pitch when the club owners meet next, on January 2017. The current Oakland multi-purpose stadium was constructed in the mid 60’s. The stadium is shared by a professional baseball and football clubs; the football and baseball stadiums have a seating capacity of 56,000 and 35,000 respectively. With the plans to have Raiders play in Oakland in the next 4 to 5 years looking diminished.

The owner of Raiders Football Team, Mark Davies has already made it clear that his team will definitely move to Las Vegas if the city and state support its bid. According to a report obtained by CBS Sports, Mr. Davies has been doing rounds in Las Vegas to get the much needed financial node. Things moved a notch higher when the Raiders presented Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC), its new stadium presentation with high spirits. Supporters of the proposal want Nevada to shore up support by approving to the largest subsidy ever awarded by a state in the history of professional football.

The latest group to support the proposal is the Nevada Resort Association. On the opposing camp is the Nevadans for Common Good and the Nevada Taxpayers Association. Part of the demands made by the Raiders to the state authorities, in order to approve the highly anticipated move is a mandatory request to the state to chip in $750 million from its public coffers. The President of the Sands, Mr. Ron Goldstein told the press that anything less than the proposed amount will be rejected.

In the current state of affairs, the state has so said it is only willing to commit between $550 million to $600 million of the proposed amount of $1.9 billion. Raiders are expected to fork out $500 million, Sands $750 million and the state of Nevada $750 million. Mr. Mark Badain has assured the authorities in Las Vegas that his franchise will sign a lease that will run in tandem with the debt duration. In addition to accounting for every dollar invested in the new stadium to subvert detractors and allay fears of relocating in the near future.

Stadium Design and Amenities
The rendering of the new stadium looks eerily similar to the one earlier proposed by Raiders for the new Carson California stadium, which is now hanging. The LA rendering features an eternal flame designed in memory of Al Davis, the former owner of the franchise. The other outstanding features include sun roof, curving facade, modern raked seating arrangement, large operable glass facades, leisure areas and standard playing ground. The rendering was unveiled by the Kansas City based Manica Architecture. Before the plans for the construction of the new stadium begin, Raiders, Sands and other stakeholders will have to await the approval of the Nevada State Legislature.

SNTIC is expected to forward the $750 million request to the legislature to fulfill its part of the deal. The state governor, Brian Sandoval has already granted SNTIC an extension to make a decision on the final stadium location and stadium proposal. If the proposal is shot down, Raiders may be forced to remain in Oakland or somewhere in LA. On the other hand, if the project is approved the taxes from the member of public in Nevada will be accessed through specially set taxation district and hotel room tax. Unlike the densely populated, where land is hard to come by, Las Vegas appears to be favored because its subdivisions offer more developmental opportunities for grand projects.

The Franchise
The Oakland Raiders have had a checkered past in and out of the field since it was founded in 1960. According to Ticket City, the franchise’s first home field was the Kezar Stadium in the Bay Area. During their first two seasons in the league, the club struggled financially until 1964, when Al Davies came in as the coach. In 1967, Raiders beat Houston Oilers to capture the AFL Championship to earn a ticket to Super Bowl II Finals, where they played and lost to the much fancied Green Bay Packers.

A few years later under Coach John Madden, the franchise recorded a string of successes, chief among them winning Super Bowl XI for the first time in 1976. Between 2000 and 2002, the California based franchise made an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII, but lost 48 – 21 to Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To date, the franchise has won 3 Championships. On the business side of things, a report published by Forbes in September 2016 shows that the club is valued at $2.1 billion. Its annual revenues and player expenses stand at $300 million and $170 million respectively.


Social Media Changing College Sports

Last month thousands of student-athletes headed back to school, back to practices and back to compliance. Their compliance with the NCAA, compliance with their school and compliance with their team’s social media policy. University athletics has caught up quickly since social media first took over the world two decades ago. That’s because the effects of social media on college athletics, good or bad, is instantaneous.

Most, if not all, athletic departments now have a social media policy for student-athletes to adhere to. These policies range widely among University Athletic Departments. Some athletic departments ban student-athletes from creating individual social-media accounts. Others have no restrictions on student-athlete use of social media but offer social media education.

No matter what side of the social media spectrum a University has placed itself, the path has not been a smooth one. Schools with outright bans on social media imposed on its student-athletes have run into issues with defenders of the First Amendment. Northwestern University was forced to change their student-athlete social media policy after the Illinois Governor signed legislation making it unlawful for higher education institutions to require a student’s social media login information.

However, one can see how administrators would want to impose an outright ban on all social media accounts for student-athletes. It seems every season a prominent athlete is in the news because of violations or embarrassments caused by a social media post. In 2013, Johnny Manziel created headlines after tweeting photos of himself at nightclubs and casinos. In 2014, Indiana men’s basketball players Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson were trying to enter a nightclub underage when strangers took a photo of the pair and shared it online.

Punishments when policies are not adhered to also vary widely. A written reprimand, a suspension, or even a dismissal from the team and university are some of the many negative effects of social media misuse by college athletes.

Recruits have been on the wrong side of the social media issue as well. You can ask almost any college coach and they will tell you they not only monitor athletic recruits social media use, they have pulled scholarship offers because of posts on a recruit’s social media platform.

It’s not all bad news for student-athletes using social media though. Even before an athlete steps on campus, social media allows them to become part of the team and start friendships. And for the best of the best, just as professional athletes utilize social media to interact fans and promote their brand, top college athletes are already harnessing that same power. Bringing with them thousands of followers and loyal fans when they complete their NCAA eligibility and move into the pro ranks.

Athletics departments have been capitalizing on fans love of their social media platforms too. You would be hard pressed not to find a social media marketing expert on an athletic department’s staff. Studies have shown that fans are more likely to purchase their team’s merchandise when an athlete has shared it on social media.

And whether they like it or not, coaches using social media generates a big following for their teams. Some coaches handle their social media accounts themselves while others hand off the task to staff to post and tweet online.

But, just this summer coaches’ use of social media became a whole lot more important. That’s because the NCAA has instituted a new rule allowing coaches to re-tweet and like social media posts of recruited athletes. It will be interesting to see how this will play out this year. Recruits may equate social media likes with how much a team is interested in them. But if coaches and teams are clicking like on a number of different recruits’ posts, the top recruit may feel that the team isn’t all that interested in him or her after all. A great college coach can’t just be an expert in their sport anymore. The intricate strategies of recruiting a new generation of social media hungry teens can now make or break a team’s future success.

On the other side of the social media coin are the fans. Alumni and fans have jumped on their team’s social media bandwagon from the very beginning. The majority of fans use the platform to follow their team’s performance and express support for their alma mater or local heroes.

However, negativity online is becoming an increasing problem in particular when it is aimed directly at the young student-athletes themselves. Last year, a funny video was shared online depicting a fake public service announcement for grown men and women yelling and cursing at “kids” playing in the NCAA basketball tournament. Although the video was a parody, we’ve all seen or been that guy yelling at the TV set. But, now there is no TV set or big arena barrier between fans and players. Negativity can access student-athletes directly 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Last year, University of New Mexico basketball star Cullen Neal shut down his social media accounts and changed his phone number after his father and UNM head coach, Craig Neal, said Cullen had received death threats after a perceived lackluster season. Cullen was the Lobos leading scorer as a freshmen. He eventually made the decision to transfer to Ole Miss.

Unfortunately, Cullen’s story is not unique. Other reports of student-athletes having to shut down social media accounts because of extreme negativity have been coming out. Researchers have even begun to study the coping mechanisms that student-athletes use to deal with negativity directed at them online. But despite all the reports and evident negativity plaguing student-athletes online, institutions have been slow to react and protect athlete privacy and peace of mind. In fact, the NCAA has no policy or rule restricting social media use by student-athletes, athletic departments or staff. It has also been silent on the issue of fan use of social media to abuse its student-athletes. Just like many other institutions, the NCAA sees a substantial monetary benefit of colleges and student-athletes using social media platforms. However, there is a clear conflict of interest when that institution was founded to keep college athletes safe.


History of Sports betting and escorts in Las Vegas

Gaming has long been a part of Nevada’s culture and pastime. When Nevada became a state in 1864, an attempt by the state legislative assembly to regulate and legalize gambling was defeated owing to strong anti-gambling sentiments that existed at the time. In 1869, the tide began to turn, when the Nevada state legislature approved specific forms of gambling. Several decades later, the state formally legalized gambling in 1931. Following this development, the economic fortunes of Nevada began taking a positive turn. With a population close to 300,000 in the 60’s, the gaming revenues in the state rose to $200 million annually. Some of the leading gaming establishments at the time were; Four Queens, Harveys, Landmark and Caesars Palace.

In 1967, a groundbreaking casino legislation was passed in the Nevada State Legislature granting publicly owned companies the right to establish and operate gaming venues without requiring individual shareholders to obtain a license. The transformative edict paved way for exponential growth in casino trade in Nevada. Indeed, the growth of the gambling industry in Nevada in the 80’s soon made Nevada’s economy the fastest growing in the US. This era witnessed the unveiling of several mega projects such as The Mirage. In 1988, a piece of legislation called the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA) was pushed through by the US congress. The act granted Native Americans in Nevada and elsewhere the right to operate gaming concerns in their areas of jurisdiction.

Sports Betting
Since competition has always been part and parcel of the human society, it is fair to ascribe that sports betting has existed for thousands of years. Sports such as horse racing, baseball were quick to take the initial cue. Several decades later, sports betting made it into the realms of live casinos. Pair-o-Dice entertainment joint is etched in the annals of history as the first casino to operate legally in Las Vegas. In the 50’s live sports book or turf clubs as it used to be known was introduced in Las Vegas. When the tax accessed on turf clubs was lowered in 1974, from 10% to 2% several casinos established their own private sports book. Today, Nevada and Montana are the only states in the US that have legalized sports betting.

Today, the US is home to over 140 licensed sports books and many more illegal sports betting. During its formative years, the odds-articulating standard for global sports betting was established in the mid 1930’s by Minnesota based Athletic publication, Inc. The point spread formula in sports betting was later introduced in the 1940’s, with the widespread use of television perpetuating its growth over the coming years. The introduction of 10% tax on sports bet proceeds in 1951 by the US Congress forced bookmakers to operate with utmost transparency. Several sports books were established in Las Vegas in the 70’s and 80’s, among them Las Vegas Sports Consultants, Las Vegas SuperBook and Mirage.

In 1990’s, online sports book emerged strongly outside the US, especially in places like Ireland and Antigua. The growth of sports betting took a major turn in 2005, when the annual Nevada online sports book took bets valued at little over $2billion while that of the global market stood close to $70 billion. The popularity of sports betting largely stems from the view that it offers a quick and easy path to riches compared to other forms of investment. Many successful gamblers believe that the secret to winning big in the casino is propagating prudent money management skills while others believe the odds of winning can be enhanced by setting bets on solid play and mathematical machinations.

Escorts in Las Vegas
Nevada is the only state in the US, where prostitution is legalized, even though this is restricted to brothels. The brothels usually undergo background checks by state authorities to ensure they operate within the confines of the law. In spite of the nationwide approval, prostitution remains illegal in Las Vegas. Part of the reason why Las Vegas Escorts and their services are considered illicit stems from the new “visitor friendly image” the city is trying to cultivate as a popular tourist destination. Las Vegas receives over 40 million tourists annually. The authorities in the city have also have strongly resisted efforts to establish a safe and legally recognized red light corridor to fight vices like human trafficking and underage prostitution, in spite of growing pressure.

Sin City is estimated to have well over 20,000 sex worker’s. The state, on the other hand, has over 18 brothels, down from a high of 36 in the mid 80’s. Vegas Escorts working legally under the confines of the brothels have to part with a certain percentage of their earnings, depending on the arrangements they have with the brothel owner or management. The brothels are generally prohibited from advertising their services in counties and cities that do not permit escort services. One of the biggest challenges faced by Nevada administrative and health authorities is fighting STI infections. To curb STIs, the Nevada state board of health obligates all sex worker’s in the state to go for testing to establish their status.

This means Escorts in Vegas who want to work in approved brothel must undergo STI testing to establish if they have sexually transmitted illnesses like Chlamydia trachomatis, HIV or Gonorrhea. On their part, patrons looking for escort services are expected to take preventive measures such as using a condom. The price of the service offered by Vegas Escorts is often negotiated by consenting parties in private settings such as the sex workers room. Most female Escorts in Vegas serving elite customers usually specify the type of services they offer. One highly successful strategy often deployed by sex workers to ward off unwelcome advances is setting high prices. Vegas escort service is alive in spite of prohibitive rules. This is evident in the high number of Las Vegas escorts advertisement on the internet and local phone books.


UNLV Rebels History

Nevada has many great college campuses. There are numerous sports teams that bring fans out in droves. However, none seems to be as great as the University of Nevada. They are by far one of Las Vegas’ most prestigious schools and with good reason. They have numerous sports programs for both women and men alike. The UNLV’s athletic teams are clumped into a category and given the name “Rebels.” Each sport gets another name in front of it to distinguish the type of sport. For instance, the baseball team is Hustlin’ Rebels, and the football team is known is the Runnin’ Rebels. This group participates in the NCAA, and other sports associations, with school colors of scarlet and gray. Their longtime rival is the Nevada Wolf Pack, both colleges are highly revered.

The “Hustlin’ Rebels” Baseball Division

The action happens at Roger Barnson Field at the Earl E. Wilson stadium. Rod Soesbe is the coach, and he is in his third year. He has been at the school teaching and coaching for more than 15 years. The stadium was built in 1994 and has been resurfaced in 1997 and again in 2007. It comfortably seats 3,000 people. For the protection of the crowd, a 12-foot fence was added in 2010. They replaced the grass and gave the whole arena a fresh coat of paint. There are plans in the near future to build a new clubhouse. The Hustlin’ Rebels play 60 games per year, 31 will be at home and 29 will be on the road.

Runnin’ Rebels Men’s Basketball

The most decorated team from the UNLV is the basketball division. They used to play on the UNLV campus at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Jerry Tarkanian Court seats 18,776 people, and it has been opened since 1983. In 2000, they received a major overhaul of the stadium. The commemorative court was renamed in 2005. Tarkanian coached this team from 1973-1992. His record was quite impressive with a final tally of 509-105. The former head coach is a legend, and the building is a way to honor him continuously. The Runnin’ Rebels now have a new place to call home. They just moved into the Mendenhall Center. The 38,000 square foot building is by the Cox Pavilion and includes three levels. It is quite a dramatic step-up for the team.

In 1990, the basketball team defeated Duke University. This was a monumental victory with a winning score of 103-73. Their win made them the victor of the NCAA Championship. In 2008, the Runnin’ Rebels ranked #8 of 300 teams for ESPN’s Prestige Ranking. The team has a current value of $12.9 million, and they made a profit of over $8.3 million this year alone. Another fascinating fact is that they hold the record for the most three-pointers made in consecutive games. They have made at least one three-point goal in each game since 1986. This team has also seen great success in the NCAA Tournaments. They have the 7th highest winning percentage around. They have won a total of 25 conference championships, and they have made 17 NCAA Division 1 Tournament appearances. Some of the most famous Rebels include Marcus Banks, Larry Johnson, Reggie Theus, and Greg Anthony. From this winning team, many have gone on to do great things. There has been three Olympians, two Olympic Bronze Medalists, and 12 NBA first round of draft picks.

Rebels Football

The Rebels Football team currently plays off of UNLV’s campus at the Sam Boyd Stadium. This arena holds up to 36,800 people. Though it is off campus, it is still owned by the university. Initially called the Las Vegas Silver Bowl, the first stadium was opened for business in 1971. In 1984, the stadium was renamed the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl and then shortened in 1994. The school closed the facility down in 1998 to undergo major renovations. It was reopened in 1999 with that ability to seat 4,800 more people, which was desperately needed. Originally, it could only seat 32,000. They also added luxury suites and more club seats. During the renovations, they switched out the artificial turf to natural grass. A move that made the stadium look and feel much better for players.

This team was in the Division II, then made the jump to Division I-A. Since their rapid promotion, they have had some issues to work through. Though there have been problems, they still remain undefeated in bowl games. In fact, in 1984, they won the California Bowl. They won the Las Vegas Bowl both in 1994 and again in 2000. They have won the Big West Conference a couple times too.

Like in so many areas of the country, the football is really celebrated in this part of Nevada. College football is a crowd-gathering event. The famous rival game between UNLV and the University of Nevada always brings out record selling crowds. The Battle for Nevada game is one that is well anticipated. Some famous football player for the Rebels includes Kenny Mayne, Adam Seward, Ickey Woods, Suge Knight, and Randall Cunningham.

In July of 2010, the football team received a great honor. John Robinson was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was the first UNLV head coach or player to achieve this studious honor. The campus that the football team practices on, is the largest facility in the country, which is another thing for them to be proud of.

Other Famous Rebel Teams

Though the aforementioned teams are a small selection of what they have to offer, there are many more teams that fall under the classification of the group name “Rebels.” They also have women’s teams and plenty of other sports to enjoy. UNLV has a well-celebrated sports program that allows people with various interest to participate. Though not all their teams are as well promoted and celebrated as the basketball, baseball, and football, they put a great deal of effort in making each team great.


History of Sports Betting in Las Vegas

During the early years of the 20th century, Las Vegas and the state of Nevada were facing real economic hardships. Then in 1931, Nevada made the decision to legalize gambling, forever changing the state. At first the impact was actually fairly minimal, but with time gambling began to spread throughout the state and eventually became commonplace. Prior to this point, the state had been home to a collection of mining towns, including Reno which was the state’s largest mining town in terms of populous. With the legal passing of effortless divorce, gambling, boxing, and prostitution, the state began to make the shit from being focused on mining to being a major tourist destination. In the blink of an eye the economic landscape of Nevada changed forever.

For another twenty years legalized gambling allowed the state of Nevada to see continued growth and prosperity. However, sports betting was still illegal until 1951, when a regulation was finally passed allowing it with the imposition of a ten percent tax on all bets. With the passing of this regulation, it made it extremely easy for people to be able to place bets on a variety of different sporting events because bookies no longer needed to hide on the black market.

In the beginning, the original sports books were just small brick and mortar stores and were mainly independent from the major casinos. Many people referred to them as “turf clubs”. The Rose Bowl, Churchill Downs, and the Del Mar were just a few of the first ones to gain traction and recognition in the beginning. In general the majority of the original sports betting shops were small, dirty, smoke filled, stalls where the betting options were written out on chalkboards and the air was heavy with odors from beer and wood chips.

By the 1980’s sports betting had become popular and widespread. However, many of the “turf clubs” were still struggling to make it due to the ten percent tax that was still being placed on all bets. In many cases, that tax was actually making it impossible for many of the shops to turn any kind of profit at all. In order to try to offset the cost of the tax, many of the shops started to try and place the cost on the customers since many of them were willing to pay in order to get a piece of the action. Other shop owners developed illegal methods of avoiding or getting around paying the tax. Those shops that managed to do so managed to turn pretty good profits.

One of the largest and more unspoken elements of the sports betting industry in Las Vegas was the unspoken relationship between the “turf shops” and the major hotels and casinos. The shop owners had negotiated agreements with the hotels and casinos to keep them out of the sports booking business and keep the two businesses as separate entities. In turn, the bookies promised to keep any other forms of gambling or casino style games out of their shops. This arrangement worked well until 1974 when additional legislation passed deeming the ten percent tax unconstitutional. That ruling forever changed the landscape of sports betting in Nevada. Once that passed, making the tax just two percent, the state saw a huge boom in sports betting which was the beginning to the end of the turf clubs.

Originally, the casinos and hotels were happy to keep their hands out of the sports betting industry because the ten percent tax made it so difficult to turn any kind of real and legal profits off the betting. However, once Congress passed the legislation making the tax just two percent, the temptation to offer sports betting on-site was just too powerful. Eventually that tax was dropped down even further in 1983 to just 0.025 percent making the potential profit margin too strong to ignore for casino operators.

One example of a casino operator, eventually portrayed in the movie “Casino” by Robert DeNiro was Rosenthal. During the mid-seventies, Rosenthal was running the famed Stardust Casino, and went before the state legislator to try and persuade the passage of the new laws that would permit casinos to take sports bets. “In this one situation it seemed like I had a crystal ball. My premise was that it would create thousands of jobs and bring in millions of tourists and the sports book would just be another arm of the casino. The commission acted within two weeks and passed the ordinance” Rosenthal remembers.

His efforts paid off in a big way and forever changed the way that gaming would be operated in Las Vegas. Rosenthal developed a sports book that would not just serve as a prototype but would become something for all other casino operators to aspire to attain in their sports betting businesses. He recognized that until that point customers were used to being in less than attractive and fairly uncomfortable environments while placing sports bets. So he decided to treat customers to a more luxurious environment for sports betting by outfitting the environment with lots of televisions, plenty of comfortable seating, and lots of open space. Rosenthal said that the reactions of the customers was clear. “We knocked their socks off,” he says. He said it was all about giving the people what they wanted in a way that made them comfortable adding, “it really wasn’t rocket science”.

There is no doubt about it that sports betting has come a long way over the last hundred years. It has not only helped shape the economic landscape of Las Vegas, but has fed the economy of many other cities as well. It has also allowed for sports enthusiasts and responsible gamblers to be able to place bets in a safe, fun, clean, and comfortable environment rather than having to seek out an illegal bookie with which to place their bets. Sports betting in Las Vegas is now a major industry and one of the corner stones of any successful gambling operation.