The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) is challenging the public funding for a new A’s ballpark in Las Vegas through the courts, after failing to put the matter to public vote last summer. On Monday, the NSEA’s political action committee, Strong Public Schools, sued in Carson City’s First Judicial Court to invalidate SB1, which allocated $380M in tax money to fund a Las Vegas stadium for the Oakland Athletics.
The lawsuit, which names Nevada, Gov. Joe Lombardo (R), and state treasurer Zach Conine as defendants, alleges that SB1 violates Nevada’s constitution. It claims that the bill required a two-thirds majority vote in both Nevada’s Assembly and Senate, which it didn’t receive. Additionally, the suit alleges that the bill doesn’t meet requirements to provide cost calculations and forces the state to wrongly assume debts from Clark County.
According to NSEA spokesperson Chris Daly, the ultimate goal of the union is to fund Nevada schools, and they believe that SB1 and the stadium deal go in the wrong direction. The A’s were not named as a defendant in the suit.
Another NSEA PAC, Schools Over Stadiums, previously lost its bid in court to turn SB1 into a referendum, but that decision is currently being appealed. If the appeal succeeds, the NSEA would need to collect over 100,000 signatures by June, which would likely cost more than $1 million to accomplish in a short timeframe.
Daly acknowledged the need for institutional players to step up to help them qualify for the referendum, as the process would require a significant financial investment in a short period of time. The A’s have plans to build a 30,000-seat ballpark in place of the Tropicana, with hopes of it being ready for the 2028 baseball season.
Therefore, the battle between the NSEA and the proponents of the A’s ballpark deal continues to unfold in the courts and through potential referendum efforts.