Raiders look to Plan B after Adelson drops out of Las Vegas stadium deal Express News
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has dropped out of a plan to help fund a $1.9 billion football stadium to lure the NFL’s Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, potentially dealing a major blow to the move.
“This is not a wrench in the wheel, the wheel fell off,” Clark County (Nev.) Commissioner Steve Sisolak told the Nevada Independent on Monday. “This is an enormous setback in my opinion.”
The surprise development might not scuttle the move, though — earlier this month, the Raiders said they had received a commitment from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
to act as a backup source of funding in case Adelson withdrew.
Under the original plan, Clark County would provide $750 million for the 65,000-seat domed stadium in the form of hotel tax revenue, the Raiders and NFL would chip in $500 million, and Adelson would put up $650 million. With Adelson out, that could put Goldman Sachs on the hook for the $650 million.
In a statement late Monday, Adelson said his family “will no longer be involved in any facet of the stadium discussion,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The decision to walk away from the project was apparently sealed by a draft lease agreement the Raiders sent to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority last week, which excluded Adelson and included very favorable terms for the team. “It’s clear the Raiders have decided their path for moving to Las Vegas does not include the Adelson family,” the statement said.
In a statement released after Adelson’s, the Raiders said they “remain steadfast” in pursuing their move to Las Vegas. Goldman Sachs did not immediately comment.
Earlier this month, the Raiders filed official paperwork to move to Las Vegas. The NFL is scheduled to vote whether to approve the move in March.
The Adelson connection was always a point of contention. The NFL was wary of closely associating with gambling money — Adelson is the founder, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
— and Adelson reportedly wanted a share of the team, a prospect that Raiders owner Mark Davis opposed.