Nevada teachers union sues to block public funds for Oakland A's new ballpark

A $380 million public funding package was approved for the 30,000-seat stadium

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The A's new ballpark in Las Vegas is hitting a snag as Nevada teachers file a lawsuit to stop the flow of money to the project.

Nevada lawmakers last year agreed to a $380 million public funding package for the new ballpark on the Las Vegas Strip. But the Nevada State Education Association says it's money that should be going toward education.

“Every dollar we spend building stadiums is a dollar we aren’t using for public education,” the association said in a statement provided to The Associated Press on Tuesday by spokesperson Alexander Marks. “Public money should not go to a billionaire for a stadium while Nevada ranks 48th in the nation with the largest class sizes and highest educator vacancy rates in the country.”

The $1.5 billion 30,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof is planned near the homes of the NFL’s Vegas Raiders and the NHL’s Golden Knights.

The A's are not named in the lawsuit, which alleges that the bill to help fund the stadium wasn’t passed on constitutional grounds and that the state is taking on debt that should land with Clark County, where Las Vegas is located.

At the same time, the teachers are trying to put the stadium funding bill to a public vote rather than allow lawmakers to negotiate the deal. That effort is still underway, and it’s unclear if it will pan out.

The suit could impact the A's timeline of having a new ballpark to move into in four years.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who lost a bid to have the baseball stadium located within city boundaries, said in a sports podcast recorded Monday with Front Office Sports that she thought a move by the Athletics “does not make sense,” and the team would be better off staying in Oakland. The Tropicana hotel site is outside city limits in Clark County.

“I want to be clear that I am excited about the prospect of Major League Baseball in Las Vegas,” Goodman said Tuesday in a statement released by her City Hall office. “It very well may be that the Las Vegas A’s will become a reality that we will welcome to our city.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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