Sheldon Adelson Withdrawl Kills NFL Oakland Raiders In Las Vegas In Major Setback
Sheldon Adelson’s withdrawl from the relocation effort to bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas has effectively killed any chance of Vegas seeing the Silver and Black. The Las Vegas Sands CEO’s statement made him read more like a hurt de facto Mayor of Las Vegas than a once-active investor in the Raiders project. One who spent a million on getting politicians to back the Oakland Raiders.
Within the Sheldon Adelson statement, one paragraph, the last one, served to stick a knife in the Raiders NFL relocation to Las Vegas from Oakland effort, effectively reducing it to a dream. This:
“While this is not the result my family was hoping for, I am very appreciative of the countless people who have given considerable time and energy to this process, especially so many of our elected officials who have made this a top priority for Southern Nevada.”
It was those same elected officials that were the beneficiaries of Adelson’s fiscal largesse. Lobbyists too. Remember that Mr. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands staff, headed by government affairs representative Andy Abboud, begged, pleaded, and strongarmed the Nevada legislature to get the votes for Senate Bill One, and the $750 million subsidy plan. Now, with Adelson’s departure, so goes away his political money and muscle. Goldman Sachs can’t save Mark Davis Las Vegas dreams.
Anyone who thinks Goldman Sachs Investment Bankers can save the Oakland Raiders Las Vegas deal is purely stupid and out to lunch and for several reasons: 1) Goldman Sachs does not have $800 million just laying around to donate to the Raiders; 2) the stadium, as planned, does not throw off enough revenue over a 30-year period to pay for the principal and interest on a private bond issue of $800 million; 3) That $800 million does not include both the cost to buy the Russell Road stadium land, and the expense of preparing its infrastructure, what I estimate to be between $100 million and $150 million; 4) Goldman Sachs does not have the political juice or money to compete with the investment and loyalty that Adelson’s bought, and Davis sure as hell does not. And this is very important.
Remember how Las Vegas Sands made promises and, as I said before, strongarmed many Nevada Legislature members to land last minute votes? Well, now that Las Vegas Sands is gone, those promises are too – Goldman Sachs can’t come in and try and claim them. Indeed, there may be a hunger now to undo the subsidy deal itself, though it’s too early to tell – it’s possible.
It’s possible because one of the politicians that Sheldon Adelson made a huge investment in was the Governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval. In fact, Adelson spent somewhere around $300,000 on Sandoval, alone. So, is Sandoval inclined to keep working on behalf of Mark Davis and the Raiders when he’s planning a run for re-election as Governor? No. He’s not.
This deal’s dead. But it doesn’t mean Oakland’s off the hook. It’s Oakland’s time to shine. via IFTTT