As it turns out, losing Sheldon Adelson’s $650 million pledge was just a speedbump for the Oakland Raiders’ proposed Las Vegas stadium.
The casino magnate pulled his support in January, after he spearheaded a hotel tax toward the project, and, for a while, it looked like Goldman Sachs was going to step in. When the financial group also withdrew its support, the team spent 6 weeks scrambling for a new sponsor, and has finally found a big-money fairy godmother in the form of Bank of America.
The team informed the NFL finance committee on Monday that the bank has committed an unknown sum to finance the $1.9-billion project. The Raiders have submitted a lease proposal to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority that identified a 62-acre plot on Russell Road as the site of the stadium, which would be domed and seat 65-thousand people. The team would share the space with the University of Las Vegas.
This Hail-Mary contribution has put the team back on track to apply for formal relocation to Las Vegas at the NFL owners meeting, where 24 of the 32 owners have to approve the move for it to progress. The meetings will take place from March 26th to 29th in Phoenix.
“We haven’t made a determination about Las Vegas as an NFL market,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN during Super Bowl week. “That’s part of the relocation process. The Raiders submitted an application; it’s one that we’re considering carefully. But there’s a great deal more work to be done, and there are several elements of that – financing the stadium is just one.”
The stadium would likely not be completed until 2020 and, even if given the approval to move, Raiders owner Mark Davis has said he would stay in Oakland for at least two more seasons.
Featured photo credit:MANICA Architecture.
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