Sheldon Adelson has confirmed that he is backing out of a stadium proposal in Las Vegas, leaving some to wonder how the Oakland Raiders will proceed.
Adelson had initially pledged a $650 million contribution toward the Las Vegas stadium project, which is expected to cost $1.9 billion. The remaining funding was to be contributed by the Raiders at $500 million, along with the $750 million in public funds that the State of Nevada pledged last fall.
The departure of Adelson from the project does not come as a big surprise. He indicated in October between him and the Raiders were not going smoothly, and that he was prepared to walk away from the project if terms could not be reached. The Raiders, meanwhile, have made it known in recent weeks that they believe that the stadium can be funded without Adelson, with the team stating that Goldman Sachs could back the stadium.
For their part, the Raiders said in the aftermath of Adelson’s announcement that they intend to move forward with the plan, though local officials want more information about Goldman Sachs’ potential role. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“The Raiders deeply appreciate the efforts of the Adelson family to bring the Raiders to Las Vegas,” the team’s statement said. “We know this project could not have advanced to this point without them. The Raiders remain steadfast in honoring Mark Davis’ commitment to Gov. (Brian) Sandoval and the state of Nevada to pursue relocation to Las Vegas.”
Earlier this month, Raiders representatives told the Stadium Authority board that construction would be financed by Goldman Sachs — with or without the Adelsons as partners.
But Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak was skeptical that Goldman Sachs can fill the financial void left by the Adelsons’ exit. The Adelsons had pledged $650 million toward the stadium’s construction. The Raiders would commit $500 million, and $750 million in bonds would be funded by a 0.88-percentage-point increase in Clark County’s hotel room tax.
“The Raiders are putting a lot of hopes in the Goldman Sachs commitments, but I don’t know the extent of their commitments, and I certainly do not share that same level of hope,” Sisolak said Monday. “If (the Raiders) have a Plan B, I’m not aware of it, and the owners meeting is coming up in two months.”
Without Adelson, the Raiders will have to come through a revised funding plan in the coming weeks. The team has already filed to relocate, with the NFL expected to consider the issue in March. If the stadium comes to fruition, it will likely open for the 2020 season.
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