LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The City of Las Vegas voted Wednesday to contribute $290,000 to a $2.25 million effort to woo business executives in a three-day blitz surrounding the Super Bowl in February.

Documents show that CEOs of eight companies have already been identified as targets for this event. A goal of finding 30 companies is the larger goal, a Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee document shows.

City officials were careful to make it clear that tax money wouldn’t be spent on “Game Day” events. “I do want to put it on the record that none of this public money allocated to this event would go towards any game day events — nothing that is actually associated with the actual Super Bowl game,” Ryan Smith, Las Vegas director of economic and urban development said.

The $2.25 million is a combination of local and state government funds, under the direction of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA), and private funds will be contributed. How those private funds might be spent has not been disclosed.

An image from the “Corporate Combine” plan. See the full document below.

Las Vegas is one of four local governments asked to approve a chunk of money that adds up $1 million: $440,000 from Clark County (approved Tuesday), $290,000 from Las Vegas, $150,000 from Henderson (no vote yet) and $120,000 from North Las Vegas (approved in July).

The Las Vegas City Council approved the funding in a 6-1 vote, with Councilwoman Victoria Seaman opposed.

“It is truly disheartening to witness a request for public funds for these type of events, especially when pressing issues demand our attention and financial resources,
Seaman said. “Our community, like so many other, is grappling with inadequate health care, a lack of affordable housing, rising crime rates, homelessness, drug abuse and our animal rescues are overflowing with animals.”

She said this type of spending “on a party for corporate executives” violates the trust of constituents.

“I think it would be very embarrassing for the City of Las Vegas not to be part of the totality of effort for this,” Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said.

The advantage of this approach is providing a unified effort to attract businesses, officials said.

“For once, it’s one regional voice,” former Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones Blackhurst said. “It’s all of us saying the same thing, whether it’s the city or the county or Henderson, it’s about coming to Southern Nevada and helping us finally diversify the economic base in a meaningful way.”

The Super Bowl committee’s document summarizing the project says, “To date we have identified 8 potential target companies in Clean Tech/EV, 5 in Sports and Entertainment and 3 in Healthcare. We also will be coordinating with all Municipal Partner’s Offices of Economic Development, to make sure we are all consistent and aligned with target opportunities.

Money contributed by the City of Las Vegas will come out of redevelopment funds, and

The LVGEA Finance Committee must approve any expenditure over $25,000.

Blackhurst told the council the $290,000 was a one-time expenditure for this event and she wouldn’t be coming back for more funds for this event.

During public comment, Lisa Mayo-DeRiso was skeptical of how tax dollars will be used. “They have a $380,000 leftover on the budget, so $230,000 is going to something else. It’s got to be going to Super Bowl,” she said.