The Oakland Raiders got their hopes up about Las Vegas, and now they won’t let go.
The Raiders looked kind of foolish when two financial heavy hitters left them at the altar. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson said he’d give $650 million to the stadium, but then pulled out when the Raiders submitted a very team-friendly lease proposal without his knowledge (there have long been rumors Adelson wanted part-ownership of the team, as well). The Raiders thought they had finance company Goldman Sachs as a backup plan, but then after Adelson pulled out of the deal, Goldman Sachs did too. Whoops.
The Raiders somehow got politicians to sign off on a record $750 million in public money for a new stadium, and still find themselves $650 million short on their proposed $1.9 billion stadium. But the Raiders aren’t giving up the Las Vegas dream.
“The organization remains fully committed to this project,” Raiders president Marc Badain told the stadium authority board members, according to the Associated Press. “We are not deterred. Financing will not be an issue.”
OK, well, that’s nice, but what’s the plan? Badain told the board the team is talking to “multiple financial institutions,” but didn’t provide any details when asked by the AP. So at this point, we’re supposed to believe that the Raiders can find a mystery investor willing to give the team $650 million.
The Raiders have applied for relocation to Las Vegas, there’s six weeks from the owners’ vote on the matter, and the team is about two-thirds of a billion dollars short. The team thinks financing won’t be an issue, and we’ll see if that’s true. The board also said it will work on the lease agreement in the coming weeks, according to the AP.
The Raiders’ proposed relocation looks like it could become a real mess, but it could be saved if financing comes through as their president seems to think it will. They better hurry up.
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