The Oakland Raiders are trying to calm concerns that a funding gap will prevent construction of a Las Vegas stadium, saying that they will address the issue.
Sheldon Adelson‘s decision to depart from the project has left a $650 million gap for the stadium project, which is estimated to cost $1.9 billion. Despite some indications that it could back the project without Adelson, Goldman Sachs is not going to fill that void, and Nevada governor Brian Sandoval has already stated that the current public contribution of $750 million will not be raised.
For the Raiders, this means that the project must either be scaled back in some way or that another private investor has to enter the mix. On Thursday, a team official emphasized that the funding issues will not derail the project, and stated that the Raiders are actively pursuing additional investment. These comments were made during a meeting with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority. More from the Las Vegas Sun:
Raiders President Marc Badain told board members that “financing will not be an issue” following Adelson’s decision to abandon the project. Once thought to be a backup option, Goldman Sachs indicated through representatives that its interest was contingent upon Adelson’s involvement.
“We’re in an industry where we’re used to plugging along, and we’re used to having starts and stops,” Badain said. “(Raiders owner) Mark Davis made a commitment to Gov. (Brian) Sandoval, and we intend to see that through.”
Badain said “multiple financial institutions” have called to express interest in joining the stadium project, which includes a $750 million public financing component generated by room tax revenue and a $500 million commitment from the Raiders. Badain did not name any of those companies, nor did he detail if any of them are local or indicate how far into discussions the team has progressed with any potential partner.
“You’d be surprised how many people are interested in funding this project,” Badain said.
Badain declined to comment after the meeting, saying he needed to catch a flight.
Aside from securing the necessary funding, the Raiders have to present some concept for a lease agreement for the NFL to consider. The league could weigh in on the issue at the end of March; if the relocation is approved, the stadium would open by the 2020 season.
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