As we foreshadowed when the Oakland Raiders formally filed their application to move the franchise to Las Vegas two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs was positioned to fund any financing gap for the proposed $1.9 Las Vegas stadium if casino magnate Sheldon Adelson wouldn’t commit.

Having paved the way for the Raiders’ move, Adelson has now testily bowed out, citing his exclusion from the Raiders’ ongoing dealmaking for the new stadium.

While some might see Adelson’s move as making the Raiders’ move more difficult, with Goldman in the wings and previous concerns about a casino owner’s involvement now moot, it could actually help make the relocation a reality.

And if approved by 24 of the league’s 32 owners in March, the Raiders could open the 2020 season in Las Vegas rather than the Oakland Coliseum.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by E. Gonsalves

    Goldman Sachs is not doing this for free. This deal will fall apart because Mark Davis is incompetent and has no money, the Las Vegas Market is vastly inferior to the current market in Oakland, and the NFL would take a huge PR hit by leaving a historic NFL city like Oakland. The deal will collapse and Davis and the NFL will crawl back to the geographic center of the Bay Area with their tail between their legs.

  2. Posted by johntrev

    Mercury News saying Goldman Sachs may pull out too.

    • Posted by Dixon Hill

      That Mercury News article is short on details. I read in WaPo this morning that the Raiders proposal to pay $1/year rent while retaining control of naming rights and scheduling of UNLV games rankled the locals. Further, Adelson has a close relationship with Goldman and reportedly asked them to nix the deal.

  3. Posted by c_q

    GS will only finance if they expect to get a decent return on their investment (unlike local governments who are apt to shell out money with no expectation of even getting the money back, much less a good return).

    If it was such a good deal to move the team, then there should be lots of people willing to shell out money, not just GS. I’m suspecting this is all just leverage to try to push Oakland into giving up more money.

  4. Posted by Notcom

    “Heads the Raiders Leave, Tails they Don’t Stay”

    Your headline seem to be pushing the envelope a bit: By the reasoning that Adelson was problematic, would it have read “Raiders Deal Looking Iffy” had he stayed in? I’m not saying that it can’t happen, or even that it won’t, but we all know the Raiders have a history of (seemingly) sure-fire relocations – Irwindale, anybody? – that didn’t play out.

    [Editor’s Note: Note the lack of an apostrophe on “Raiders” in our headline above.]

  5. Posted by MKP

    LOL at mark davis. he is clearly a huge incompetent (and by all accounts, a bit of a weirdo). he needs to realize he is poor, and sell a minority stake in the team to some rich SV billionaire and build a new stadium in oakland.

  6. Posted by MB

    Man, I hope they move to Vegas…

  7. Posted by pablito

    Go Raiders! No seriously, go. Time to redevelop the stadium site into high rise residential neighborhood.

  8. Posted by E. Gonsalves

    The NFL is not going to give up on the Oakland market. The extortion tactics the NFL uses in other states do not work in California. The NFL will contribute a substantial amount to get a new stadium built at the Coliseum site while the A’s will build a privately financed ballpark near Jack London Square.

    • Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

      Last week you bid the Raiders good riddance and insisted it would be good for Oakland to see them gone. I guess in the meantime you’ve stumbled on some alternative facts.

      • Posted by E. Gonsalves

        I’m just stating what I think will happen.

  9. Posted by Occupied in Oakland

    I could be wrong, but I haven’t read that a single credible expert believes Adelson’s exit is beneficial to Mark Davis’ Vegas relocation scheme.

  10. Posted by Dick

    How about a bake sale to raise the $$$.

  11. Posted by E. Gonsalves

    Goldman Sachs is out. Time for Oakland to play hardball with Davis and the NFL. Poor Mark Davis has just insulted Oakland again and has made a call to San Diego. Oakland needs to tell Davis either to commit long term, or take a hike. Oakland can start scheduling tractor pulls at the Coliseum for 2019. Where is poor Mark going to go for a free stadium. I guess he forgot why the Chargers left San Diego.

    • Posted by pablito

      Free Stadium? Aloha Stadium Hawaii!! Capacity 50,000. Home of the NFL pro-bowl. Marky Mark Davis should get tropical. Let’s all chip in for a one-time way plane ticket for him to go check it out. Oakland can redevelop 50 acres of surface parking into a tax base instead of a tax suck. Win win for everyone.

  12. Posted by Anon123

    Didn’t the NFL want a team in London or Mexico City?

    • Posted by Tim E

      Believe London but think Mexico City is a much better deal if they could get someone like Mexico’s richest guy to sign on. Mexico City is in Central Time Zone & fit in perfect for TV game times, shorter travel for most of the teams, and a ready made TV market with North America’s biggest city & country. You also got a huge latino fan base in Texas, Arizona and California already.

      • Posted by Tim E

        Meant to say Mexico City is North America’s biggest city. Mexico City team would also include a market of an entire country of roughly 90 milllion itself and far bigger then any of the other states. In the US you got 8 teams in FL, CA and TX market with combined population comparable of Mexico sharing the market. I would say Mexico City expansion team is a no-brainer when NFL goes down that road

        • Posted by Anon123

          Rather than starting from scratch with an expansion team, they can take an existing team from a crowded market – California has 4 teams and Florida has 3… Raiders are one of those teams looking for a new home.

          • Posted by JayJay

            They have already announced Raiders will play in Mexico city again this year. Maybe they’re considering CDMX?

          • Posted by Anon123

            Perhaps they are – it is my impression that Raiders have good following south of the border; not as much as the Cowboys, but we all know that the Cowboys have a great stadium and following in Dallas.

  13. Posted by Tim E

    I don’t consider Mark Davis incompetent at all in this deal. He is playing game of how he can gap financing to close the deal while keeping 100% ownership. In meantime he got Las Vegas/Nevada to foot a huge incentive package. Adelson and Goldman Sachs exit is because both realized that they won’t get a piece of ownership pie or as great rate on return. I would walk away from Mark Davis if I was them.

    What Mark Davis has going for him his annual NFL TV payout in the multimillions and huge jump in valuation of his franchise with a move. His team will suck for several years just as RAMS will and he might have to cough up some more interest on finance charges without Adelson or GS but he doesn’t give up any ownership. That is key and far from being incompetent.

  14. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    What Tim E said. Incompetent people don’t manage to get the Nevada Legislature to pony up $750 million in state money toward funding the construction of a $1.9 billion football stadium, which the so-called professional football franchise will then turn around and pay (a proposed) $1 a year in rent on.

    He’ll find some other sucker to fill in the money that Sheldon Adelson would have contributed and without giving up the ownership stake that the newspaper-destroying toad wanted.

  15. Posted by John

    A short Nevada history lesson for confused Californians:

    Las Vegas never wanted the Raiders in the first place. Locals were largely indifferent before public financing was announced. And largely opposed afterwards. The deal was only made possible because of shenanigans in Carson City.

    Sheldon Adelson controls the Nevada Republican Party. And the Republicans briefly held control over both the governorship and legislature after the 2014 midterms (for the first time since 1930). So this unpopular deal was muscled through last year on that basis.

    But with Adelson pulling out and the Democrats back in charge of the legislature after only two years – partly because of anger over the Raiders money grab – Davis is now stuck between a rock and a hard place.

  16. Posted by Formerly Native

    If Mark Davis was smart……If someone was smart they’d build the Raiders a retractable mini Jerry world of about 60k seats…AT CANDLESTICK. Final Four, Super Bowl and all that right in SF. The Raiders would OWN The Bay.

    • Posted by Anon123

      Raiders need a Jerry world to play in but somebody has to pay for it; our commander in chief wants Mexico to pay for what we build now – but it may have to be built in Mexico then, not in SF.

  17. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: As we originally wrote above, “While some might see Adelson’s move as making the Raiders’ move more difficult, with Goldman in the wings and previous concerns about a casino owners involvement now moot, it could actually help make the relocation a reality.”

    And while Goldman is out, Bank of America has stepped in. And the Las Vegas Raiders are, in fact, closer to becoming a reality, despite what all the credible experts said.

  18. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    From The Las Vegas R-J, Raiders’ Las Vegas Stadium to get boost from Bank of America, money ‘graphs:

    “Bank of America will bankroll the $1.9-billion Las Vegas football stadium sought by Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, paving the way to move his franchise to Las Vegas, he told NFL owners Monday.Davis and Raiders team president Marc Badain informed the league’s finance committee that funding for the planned 65,000-seat facility is in place with the banking giant…The Raiders also told the finance and stadium committees that everything is in place for a relocation vote at the NFL Annual Meeting on March 26-29 in Phoenix.”

    So we’ll know whether this thing is going to fly later this month. Just looking at what happened with the Rams, once the move is approved, things get going rather quickly after a relocation vote goes the team’s way.

    • Posted by Notcom

      ‘cept the Rams owner actually had enough money to build it and they’re moving to the second biggest market in the country, as opposed to the 38th (or whatever). I’m still putting my money on One Oak “moving toward reality” before this one.

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