As you may or may not know, the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders are poised for a move that would make them the Las Vegas Raiders. While that is still very much in the cards, the NFL’s commissioner spoke out on what he thinks of the NFL team’s move being funded by individuals and companies who are entrenched in the casino industry.
Seemingly as a result of Roger Goodell’s statement, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson announced earlier this week that he would no longer pursue funding of the stadium that needs to be built. Reportedly, this means that more than $600 million in much-needed funds were just taken off the table. Seeing as the stadium is set to cost almost $2 billion, that $600 million+ disappearing is no small matter.
In his address to the media during Super Bowl week, Goodell was quoted as saying, “I don’t see an ownership position in a team from a casino. That’s not something that’s consistent with our policy, not likely a stadium either.”
Up until this week Goodell nor anyone close to him had taken an official stance on the possibility of a gaming industry entity becoming involved in the Raiders’ move. With that said, most people were under the assumption that he would take the stance he did. The NFL has never been particularly friendly to the gambling industry and see no reason as to why that would all of a sudden change.
This may very well prove to be a massive issue as there are not very many options with regard to financing options that aren’t involved in the gaming industry. After all, Adelson is the CEO of Las Vegas Sands. If people in similar positions at other casinos come forward, it is likely they will face the same opposition.
With gaming industry partners now out of the question, it is likely that Las Vegas’ new NFL team will need to have their stadium financed by a bank like Goldman Sachs. This is not a terrible possibility, but one that strips the stadium of any sort of local identity. Still, the project seems to be moving forward with or without Adelson. The Raiders have maintained their intentions to move and that does not seem like it will be changing anytime soon.
Now, the attention of those watching this situation will be shifted to the NFL owners’ meeting which is set to take place in Phoenix this March. At this meeting the possibility of a Raiders move to Las Vegas will be voted upon. In order for the move to be approved by the NFL, at least 24 owners will have to vote in favor of the move.
At this point there is very little insight as to who is going to vote which way, but most people are confident that the move will be approved.
In the meantime, the Raiders and those with a vested interest in their potential move will have to simply continue looking for financing alternatives