Oakland Raiders: Las Vegas Deal in “Serious Jeopardy”
With Sheldon Adelson and now Goldman Sachs out of the picture, the Oakland Raiders hopes of relocating to Las Vegas looks to be dead in the water.
As early as Monday morning, the most up to date information was that the Oakland Raiders were still full-steam ahead to Las Vegas. With $750 million in public funding and $650 million as an additional investment from billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the Raiders thought they had found themselves a new home.
And them Monday night rolled around.
Sheldon Adelson pulled out of the deal, leaving a massive void in financing to complete the project. But not to fret, many pointed to Goldman Sachs filling that gap, and matching what Adelson’s contribution would have been.
Well, that won’t be happening either.
Without Adelson involved, Goldman Sachs has decided that they don’t want anything to do with this proposal. Which makes sense, as the two parties are long-time business partners. Thus, the relocation to Vegas is in serious jeopardy.
#Raiders move to Las Vegas is in serious jeopardy right now. Team not only ticked off Adelson with lease plan, but governor & UNLV as well.
— Jason Cole (@JasonColeBR) January 31, 2017
How did we get to this point? You see, what had happened was…
Mark Davis and Adelson have been unable to come to terms on their deal. Presumably, Adelson was wanting more in return for his investment than Davis was willing to agree to. So when the Raiders submitted their lease proposal — requesting $1 rent, by the way — they failed to include Adelson on the proposal.
Feeling blindsided by this, Adelson (who looked like he was already out) formally backed out. And even though he had said he wouldn’t block the Raiders from moving to Vegas if he wasn’t involved, it seems like he didn’t have to. Because without him, Goldman Sachs decided they didn’t want to do business with Mark.
Just got off the phone with Goldman Sachs reps, who say GS had deal to finance LV stadium with Adelson AND Raiders. With no Adelson, no deal
— Vince Sapienza (@VinceSapienza) January 31, 2017
So here are are. After all this time negotiating with Adelson and the city of Las Vegas, just like that, the proposal is dead in the water.
Well, in laughably predictable fashion, Mark Davis has already spoken with San Diego officials.
SD officials & Raiders exchanged calls today. Update of column on SD being willing, able to accommodate NFL & MLS. https://t.co/aWTa6zOqKW
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) February 1, 2017
Per San Diego Tribune columnist Kevin Acee, the city of San Diego is willing to offer the Raiders the same exact deal they offered the Chargers. Which, to put it simply, won’t nearly be enough to get Mark Davis to make that move. So let’s not spend any more time on this one.
And guess who’s waiting in the wings? Ronnie Lott and his group, of course. Who released the following statement:
Here’s our statement on Oakland, California and The Oakland Raiders.
We stand ready to work with the team and NFL to keep the Raiders here at home. We have the land available at the existing Coliseum site following the actions of the City of Oakland and Alameda County last December. We have a strong financing partner in Fortress Investment Group. We have an additional $100 million due to the NFL incentive to keep the Raiders in Oakland. And of course, we have the best fans in the world right here in the heart of Raider Nation. Add to all that a diverse and fast growing community, a top 10 television market, and more Fortune 500 companies than any region in the western United States. Bottom line, if the Raiders want to stay in Oakland, we are more than ready to be a partner in making that happen.
So once again, it’s back to the well for Mark Davis. If he’ll come to the table remains to be seen, but he might not have a choice.
No Carson/Los Angeles, no Las Vegas, no San Antonio, no San Diego. Nowhere to go.
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What seems likely to happen here is the Raiders, who said they would contribute up to $1.15 billion plus operating costs for Vegas, will be asked by the NFL to make that same contribution to Oakland.
Some combination of the Ronnie Lott group, the city of Oakland and/or the NFL will pitch in the remaining money needed to build a stadium in Oakland.
The Raiders will do a series of one-year leases at The Coliseum until the A’s and Warriors both vacate. Then while the site is being demolished and rebuilt, the NFL will make the Raiders and Niners share Levi’s stadium.
Then the Raiders will have sole possession of the Coliseum site and a brand new stadium. And if they can somewhere get the land that Oracle Arena sits on, they could even setup a new headquarters and practice facility right next door. If not, they could look to that land for additional parking, or perhaps retail and/or a hotel.
Unless someone has a better idea.