Monday, Sheldon Adleson, a chief financial backer for the domed stadium to house the Oakland Raiders when/if the team moves to Las Vegas, withdrew his support for the project.
According to the Associated Press, Adelson took back his pledged $650 million due to the lease agreement negotiated between the Raiders and the Clark County Stadium Authority.
The proposed lease agreement presented Monday would have the Raiders pay just $1 a year for 30 years to rent the 65,000 seat facility.
For that $1 per year, the Raiders would get:
- "Absolute priority and decision making authority” related to the field at all times, including field markings and decorations, among other aspects. The team would use “reasonable efforts” to support collegiate field markings.
- Control of UNLV football games scheduling
- The “exclusive right to contract for and receive all revenue from, and bear all costs associated with contracting for, the grant, licensing, and sublicensing of any and all Naming Rights.” That includes names for both the stadium and any plaza.
- Annual suite holders would not be allowed to occupy the suites for the Super Bowl, college football playoff or National Championship games, NCAA Final Four basketball games, NCAA basketball preliminary rounds and non-basketball NCAA championships, a major national political convention and not more than three “promoter Qualified Authority Events held annually.”
Adelson described the Raiders’ proposal as “certainly shocking”. “We were not only excluded from the proposed agreement; we weren’t even aware of its existence,” he said in his statement. “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's Las Vegas Sands Corporation owns the Venetian and Palazzo resorts and a convention center on the Las Vegas Strip, and several casinos in Macau . "It's clear the Raiders have decided their path for moving to Las Vegas does not include the Adelson family," Adelson's statement said. "So, regrettably, we will no longer be involved in any facet of the stadium discussion."
The Raiders acknowledged Adelson's involvement in the project over the past year and promised to make good on owner Mark Davis' vow to move to Las Vegas. According to the Nevada Independent, Steve Hill, who chairs the Stadium Authority, expressed confidence that the Raiders would wind up in Las Vegas regardless of any possible partnerships with Adelson.
“Goldman Sachs has agreed to provide the financing for the Raiders for the stadium,” he said after the meeting. “If they have partners involved, then that would diminish some of the need for that financing, but the Raiders have made it clear that regardless of who their partners are or aren’t, they are going to move forward and are capable of moving forward.”
Despite the team's confidence their plans will continue to move forward, other Nevada officials have expressed concern. “This is not a wrench in the wheel, the wheel fell off,” Clark County Commission chair Steve Sisolak. “This is an enormous setback in my opinion.”