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October 24, 2017

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Bank of America to fill funding gap for Raiders stadium in Las Vegas

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Courtesy of MANICA Architechture

An artist’s illustration of a stadium on Russell Road and Las Vegas Boulevard was revealed during a Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee meeting at UNLV Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.

Updated Monday, March 6, 2017 | 10 p.m.

The Oakland Raiders told the NFL on Monday they have found a new partner to finance their proposed $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas: Bank of America.

A person familiar with the Raiders' plans said the team presented the new proposal with financing backed by Bank of America to the NFL's stadium and finance committees. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan was not made public.

In January, Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson withdrew his $650 million pledge to the project because of his discomfort with the lease agreement with the stadium’s proposed primary tenant, the Raiders. That temporarily put the prospects of the Raiders relocating here in jeopardy.

It wasn’t immediately known how much Bank of America would put up. The initial plan called for the state to provide $750 million from an increase in the hotel room tax and for the Raiders to provide $500 million.

Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak tweeted on Monday: “An @NFL source has confirmed to me this afternoon that @BankofAmerica will provide the necessary financing for the proposed stadium.”

In an email to the Sun, Bank of America officials declined to comment. The Las Vegas Stadium Authority meets at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Steve Hill, chairman of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, confirmed Bank of America's involvement and said it would be enough to push the project forward.

“I don’t know what the exact terms are and their commitment to the Raiders, but my understanding is it’s enough to allow the stadium to be financed fully," Hill said.

NFL owners could vote on relocation during a meeting in late March, with 24 of 32 owners needing to OK the Raiders’ move. Until Bank of America stepped up, there wouldn’t have been concrete plans to vote on.

“I’m not sure yet whether the Raiders with be at Thursday’s meeting or not, but I think we’ll be able to provide an update on the financing at the meeting regardless of whether the Raiders are there,” Hill said.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also made a presentation to the committees on Monday in hopes of persuading owners to prevent the Raiders from moving. Schaaf offered no new plans to satisfy concerns from the league about a proposed new stadium near the site of the Coliseum, the source of the financing deal said.

"We presented a plan that we believe responsibly meets the needs of all parties," Schaaf said in a statement. "We made a sound economic case for keeping the Raiders in Oakland through the creation of what could become one of America's premier mixed-use sporting venues. ... The Oakland solution for the Raiders keeps the Raiders at home in Oakland, in the country's sixth-largest media market that is demonstrating strong growth due to its innovative and diverse economy."

The Raiders have been looking for a new stadium for years as they seek to move out of the outdated Coliseum, which is the only current stadium used by an NFL and Major League Baseball team and is unable to generate the revenue for the team the way more modern stadiums around the league can.

The Raiders applied to move to the Los Angeles area last year, but the league turned that request in favor of the Rams moving from St. Louis. The Chargers will join the Rams in the Los Angeles area this season and the teams will share a stadium in Inglewood, which is expected to open in 2019.

That left the Raiders looking for another option, which became Las Vegas when the state of Nevada voted last fall to commit the money to the project.

Even if a move is approved later this month, the stadium is not expected to be built before 2020. The Raiders have options to play at the Coliseum for two more years, but could need to find a temporary home in 2019 if they move.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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