As the Oakland Raiders aim to move the team to Las Vegas, an investor might pull an audible putting their relocation efforts in shambles.
After Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul pulled his $650 million out of the deal, Goldman Sachs is now reconsidering their role in the move, a source told ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne.
Raiders owner Mark Davis told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board that he has commitments from the global investment banking firm to help cover Adelson’s investment, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Clark County officials now believe a deal to move the Raiders franchise to Las Vegas is unlikely to happen.
“If he 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,” Chris Giunchigliani, a Clark County commissioner 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.”
Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., who had previously committed $650 million to get the $1.9 billion project rolling, claimed that he had left out of the lease document the Raiders presented to the Clark County Stadium Authority. The deal was supposed to have the stadium also serve as the home field for UNLV’s football team.
“In addition to being discouraged by the surprise submission, I was deeply disappointed for the disregard the Raiders showed our community partners, particularly UNLV, through the proposed agreement,” Adelson said in a statement. “It is clear that the Raiders have decided their path for moving to Las Vegas does not include the Adelson family. So, regrettably, we will no longer be involved in any facet of the stadium.”
ESPN reported that the Raiders’ relocation application to the NFL filed on Jan. 19th did not include Adelson.
Davis thanked the Adelson family for their help in assisting the team with the potential move to Las Vegas.
“We know this project could not have advanced to this point without them,” the team said in a statement Monday. “The Raiders remain steadfast in honoring Mark Davis’ commitment to Gov. (Brian) Sandoval and the State of Nevada to pursue relocation.”
The news comes less than a month after the Chargers, another California-based team, announced a moved from one city to another. In that team’s case it was in-state, from San Diego to Los Angeles, but there has been more talk about fanbases losing their beloved teams who go to bigger market cities since the move was approved.
NFL owners are scheduled to vote on the Raiders’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas in March.