Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn supports the idea of a major league team in Las Vegas, but he said there was no appetite in cash-strapped Nevada for raising taxes to pay for a stadium.
"There absolutely would be no state financing," the governor said. "If it involves any other tax dollars, it would have to be approved by local elected officials and then by the Legislature."
Shapiro said his group was not seeking public financing. But he said it might ask the Legislature later to let Clark County, which encompasses the Las Vegas Strip, redirect tax revenues from the stadium to the team. The Legislature next meets in 2005.
"Assuming baseball gives us the green light and awards us the franchise, it's going to be largely funded by private sources," Shapiro said.
Mark Klimek, a physical therapist, goes to 51s games and makes baseball trips to Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. He's seen minor league basketball and hockey and indoor soccer come and go in the 36 years he has lived here, and figures he'll see a major league baseball team in his hometown sometime in his lifetime.
"Unfortunately, I don't think we are big enough yet," he said.