Raiders: 'We'll get the money, still committed to Vegas'
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Memo from Raiders President Marc Badain. Nobody Panic.
“But you should know the organization remains fully committed to this project,” Marc Badain told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, the body that will oversee the publicly-owned proposed stadium, which the Raiders want to call their new home.
Badain spoke ten days after one of the world's richest men told the Raiders and their proposed Southern Nevada Stadium to take a hike.
Thursday, the team had only kind words for Sheldon Adelson, who they say was pivotal to getting Las Vegas' NFL dream off the ground.
“We hold them in the highest respect and admiration,” Badain said, referring to the Adelson family and his company, Las Vegas Sands.
Adelson backed out because he said he was blindsided by the Raiders' proposal to lease the stadium for a buck a year...and have total control over the over tenant - UNLV's football Rebels.
“I was deeply disappointed for the disregard the Raiders showed our community partners, particularly UNLV, through the proposed agreement,” Adelson said January 30th.
UNLV President Len Jessup, present at today’s meeting, said there were no-hard-feelings between the school and the Raiders.
“I know there’s a good continued spirit of cooperation between the Raiders organization and UNLV and the folks on the stadium authority board,” Jessup said, adding, “so I’ve got no concerns about how this is going to work out in terms of our use of the stadium.”
The Raiders' President, Marc Badain, had no comment after the meeting. From the podium...he said the team will find a replacement for Adelson's 650 million dollars...the second biggest chunk of the estimated 1.9 billion-dollar cost.
“We are in discussions with multiple financial institutions. You'd be surprised how many people have been reaching out wanting to fund this project,” Badain said. He offered no specifics.
Much of Thursday's meeting was walking the Stadium Authority through the intricacies of Senate Bill One, which puts into law the hike in the room tax that raises 750 million in public money; which will be the largest source of the project. The Raiders say they’ll come to the table with $500 million.
As for the Raiders' lease proposal?
“Whatever the starting point is, that's what the starting point is. And we are going to make sure that by the time we get to the finish line it's right and it's good for Nevadans,” said stadium authority chairman Steve Hill.
Badain told the board Raiders brass spent Super Bowl week in Houston getting bombarded with questions – from other teams and owners – about the potential move here.
“All they wanted to talk about was bringing the Super Bowl to Las Vegas,” Badain said, adding, the “they” are “team owners, team executives, league executives, sponsors – all the people that bring their largest clients for a massive spectacle.”
Several weeks ago, the Raiders officially asked to league for permission to move to Las Vegas. 24 of the league’s 32 owners have to agree in order to make the move happen, and that vote may happen at their meeting in March.
“We are very confident that we’ll be able to have a financing plan in place well in time for the league vote,” Badain says.