Adelson Pulls out of Raiders Stadium Deal

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Adelson Pulls out of Raiders Stadium Deal - Bodog Sports

It seemed like a sweetheart of a deal. The Oakland Raiders want to move their NFL team to Las Vegas, and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson had up to $650 million in cash lined up for them to help build a stadium. But Adelson announced in late January that he was pulling out of the deal – after the Raiders proposed paying $1 a year in rent.
 

Details of Oakland’s stadium lease proposal were revealed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which Adelson bought in late 2015. In addition to the cheap rent, the Raiders wanted to keep all the revenue from the stadium. They also wanted the full rights to all the signage and other markings, and control over anyone else’s use of the venue, even though it’s supposed to be shared with the UNLV Rebels. All this and more for a stadium that would see taxpayers take on $750 million of the $1.9-billion cost. In the words of Adelson family spokesperson Andy Abboud, as quoted in last Sunday’s Review-Journal, the Raiders were “picking his pocket.” No deal.
 

Don't Cross the Boss

It isn’t just the terms of the proposal, either. According to Adelson, he wasn’t consulted before the Raiders went to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority – nor even made aware of the proposal’s existence. “I was deeply disappointed for the disregard the Raiders showed our community partners, particularly UNLV,” Adelson said in a prepared statement.
 

The Raiders appear to have bitten off a lot more than they can chew. Without Adelson on board, they also won’t be getting that $650 million in financing through Goldman Sachs, who are on very friendly terms with the Las Vegas Sands Corp. founder and CEO. There are plenty of other would-be investors in Vegas who won’t touch this proposal now that Adelson has voiced his displeasure.

Despite the backlash, the Raiders told the LVSA last week that they are going ahead with the stadium proposal, and that financing won’t be a problem. But there’s another hurdle they might have to clear. On February 1, Oklahoma Rep. Steve Russell (R) introduced the “No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act” (H.R. 811), which would remove the tax exemption for that $750 million in public funding. The bill has bipartisan support and has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Are you ready for some political football?