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Sheldon Adelson Spokesman Explains Departure from Raiders Project

New Las Vegas Stadium

A spokesman for Sheldon Adelson is explaining why the billionaire casino executive ceased his participation in a proposed Las Vegas stadium for the Oakland Raiders

In January, Adelson announced that he would not be participating in the financing for a new stadium in Las Vegas. Up to that point, Adelson had been working with the Raiders and government officials to secure an agreement for a $1.9 billion project that could lure the Raiders from Oakland.

The Adelsons were to contribute $650 million to the project, with the Raiders kicking in $500 million and $750 million coming in the form of public funds. While there previous were signs that Adelson and the Raiders were having issues coming to terms, his decision to leave the project has left a funding gap that must now be resolved.

According Andy Abboud, an executive with the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and a spokesman for the Adelson family, Adelson decided to leave the project after the Raiders presented the Las Vegas Stadium Authority a facility lease draft without his participation. For their part, the Raiders are declining to comment on the issue. More from the Las Vegas-Review Journal:

He said the last straw was the Raiders’ decision to take a proposed stadium lease agreement to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, the public body established to oversee the stadium’s development, without telling or involving the Adelsons. The family had pledged $650 million to the project, and the Raiders had committed $500 million.

Raiders President Marc Badain said by phone Friday that the team would not comment on the negotiations and that he stood by his comments at Thursday’s Las Vegas Stadium Authority board meeting.

At that meeting, Badain, UNLV President Len Jessup and Stadium Authority board chairman Steve Hill spoke glowingly of the Adelsons and said that without their involvement, Las Vegas would not be so close to a new stadium and having its own NFL team.

Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, withdrew his $650 million commitment to the project on Jan. 30, four days after Badain and Executive Vice President Dan Ventrelle presented a 117-page draft lease agreement to the authority.

“The concern that we had and the concern that everybody has in hindsight is the 117-page proposed lease agreement that did not reflect the commitments that the Adelson family made to the Raiders and that the Raiders had made to the Adelson family,” Abboud said. “It did not reflect the commitments that were made to UNLV. It did not make the commitments that were promised to the community, and it was in no way reflective of the months of (Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee) meetings and reflective of what it took to get the members of the Legislature to vote for the funding.”

The ultimate fallout of Adelson’s departure is to be determined. In a meeting with the stadium authority last week, Badain indicated that the team believed that it could address the funding issue by acquiring additional private investment. The Raiders have already submitted their application to relocate to Las Vegas, and the NFL is expected to render its decision on the proposal in late March.

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