Las Vegas Sun

December 15, 2017

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Raiders official: ‘Financing will not be an issue’ for stadium in Las Vegas

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Steve Marcus

Raiders owner Mark Davis poses with Raiders fans during a bill signing ceremony at UNLV Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. The bill will increase hotel room tax to help finance a $1.9 billion stadium.

Following the apparent withdrawal of Sheldon Adelson and financing partner Goldman Sachs, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board and representatives of the Oakland Raiders attempted to calm concerns about the franchise’s proposed move to Las Vegas at Thursday’s board meeting.

Raiders President Marc Badain told board members at the Clark County Government Center that “financing will not be an issue” following Adelson’s decision last week to pull back a $650 million commitment toward the $1.9 billion stadium project. Once thought to be a backup option, Goldman Sachs indicated through representatives that its interest was contingent upon Adelson’s involvement.

“We’re in an industry where we’re used to plugging along, and we’re used to having starts and stops,” Badain said. “Mark Davis made a commitment to Gov. Sandoval, and we intend to see that through.”

Badain said “multiple financial institutions” have called to express interest in joining the stadium project, which includes a $750 million public financing component generated by room tax revenue and a $500 million commitment from the Raiders. Badain did not name any of those companies, nor did he detail if any of them are local entities or indicate how far into discussions the team progressed with any potential partner.

“You’d be surprised how many people are interested in funding this project,” Badain said.

Board chairman Steve Hill offered comment at the beginning of the meeting reaffirming the group’s commitment to bringing a National Football League team to Las Vegas within the 18-month time frame allowed by Senate Bill 1, which expires in April 2018. The Legislature passed the bill last year to provide the public financing piece requested by Adelson and the Raiders.

“This is a significant opportunity for Las Vegas, and we’re excited by that and we’re thrilled to be a part of that,” Hill said. “We are fully committed to working with the Raiders in order to make this a reality.”

For the Raiders, that timing is much more compressed.

The team submitted its relocation application to the NFL last month, and league owners could vote on the move in late March. Badain also told Hill that in order to help with that application, the two sides need to demonstrate to the league some progress on the draft lease agreement submitted by the team to the board at the group’s last meeting.

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