Las Vegas -- The $1.9 billion plan to build a new football stadium in Las Vegas for the NFL’s current Oakland Raiders took a backward step this week when Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson said he was pulling out of the deal. Adelson had previously committed to providing $650 million toward the project. Yesterday, Goldman Sachs also said it would remove itself from any involvement in the project.
The news came on the heels of the Raiders formally filing relocation papers with the NFL in order to make the move to Las Vegas. The NFL and the Raiders had promised to contribute $500 million to the $1.9 billion project.
Adelson told the Las Vegas Review Journal (owned by Adelson and the Sands Corp.) that the Raiders had presented a draft lease to the stadium authority without notice to the Sands Corp.
Steve Hill—who chairs the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) and is Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development-told attendees at a Global Economic Alliance event that he was “confident they (Raiders) can secure funding necessary to move this project forward.”
But other questions remain. The NFL is set to vote in March on whether to approve the team’s relocation and it is unclear if they would green-light that move without a plan in place to replace the $650 million previously pledged. The Nevada Legislature already approved $750 million in tax funding for the stadium, but that too was contingent on the Raiders providing their promised share.
There is no indication at this time that the $400 million Convention Center expansion project is in jeopardy, though funding for both projects was approved by the Governor in the same bill last October. Officials from the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, SNTIC, and the Sands Corp. had not replied to emailed requests for additional comment at press time. Trade Show Executive will provide updates to this story as needed.