If there’s anything we’ve learned from movies set in Vegas, it’s your want to be careful who you piss off. And from the looks of things, the Raiders have pissed off pretty much everyone they need on their side.
First and foremost, Sheldon Adelson, who Monday officially backed out of the stadium deal.
The multibillionaire casino magnate was onboard to contribute a cool $650 million toward the projected $1.9 billion stadium which was second only to the record $750 million he and the Raiders were able to convince Nevada to give them in public money.
Even when there were rumblings Adelson was thinking of backing out, he had said he would remain supportive of the plan. Then the Raiders put together their proposal for the stadium which included some pretty amazing demands including $1 rent, and all revenue from naming rights and signage advertising at the stadium.
That plan reportedly not only angered Adelson, but also governor Brian Sandoval and the University of Las Vegas whose football team was to share the stadium with the Raiders.
When the proposal came out, many who looked it over noted it didn’t mention Adelson at all, leaving it open for any financier.
"We were not only excluded from the proposed agreement," Adelson told ESPN, "we weren't even aware of its existence."
This was because the Raiders were betting on Goldman Sachs to step in should Adelson opt out, and Adelson saw this as dealing in bad faith, according to an account in the Nevada Independent, which also refers to Adelson as “furious and out for blood.”
He is NOT the person you want to have as an enemy. Not in Vegas. Probably the last person you want as an enemy.
There is also a great deal of skepticism that Goldman Sachs is in any way a slam dunk. They are not exactly what you would call a charitable organization. They don’t invest without returns. And that would come in the form or either a stake in the team — something Mark Davis said he is unwilling to do -- or a simple loan repaid with interest. That latter would simply be Davis paying for the the majority of the stadium which he has not shown the ability or willingness to do.
“If [Adelson] doesn’t think it will pencil out for him, it won’t pencil out for Goldman Sachs or anybody else that thinks they want to step up to it,” Clark County Commissioner Chris Giuchigliani told the Mercury News. “I hate to say it, some of my concerns are starting to bear out. I don’t think Mr. Davis cared about either community, ours or Oakland. He’s using us against each other.”
Some have suggested losing Adelson improves the Raiders’ chances of moving to Vegas. The league was said to not be too keen on Adelson being part of the deal, which is the reason for that thinking. But losing your top private funding or even shifting it to another, far less certain funding option is not a positive, especially with the league vote less than two months away.
And then there’s this interesting little catch-22 development:
Source: Goldman Sachs deal to finance Raiders stadium contingent on Sheldon Adelson involvement. Without Adelson, there isn't a deal.— Nathan Fenno (@nathanfenno) January 31, 2017
For that reason, there would appear to be a good chance at very least the owner’s vote could be delayed.
If you’ll remember correctly, the vote for Los Angeles was anything but smooth, and also resulted in a year delay. The approval was that the Rams would not be simply allowed to move alone and the Chargers had a year to opt in and if they didn’t, the Raiders would have a shot to opt in.
Both those plans were ready to go come the league vote. This one has a lot of doubt now cast upon it.