The loss of financial backers won’t stop the Oakland Raiders in their attempt to move to Las Vegas, team president Marc Badain told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board on Thursday.
Last week, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson pulled his $650 million pledge from the proposed $1.9 billion stadium project, and finance giant Goldman Sachs also stepped away from the plan.
However, Badain said at the board meeting, “A process like this has stops and starts, but you should know that the organization remains fully committed to this project. (Raiders owner) Mark Davis made a commitment to Gov. (Brian) Sandoval and we intend to see that through. We are not deterred, and financing will not be an issue.”
While not naming potential backers, Badain said, according to ESPN.com, “You’d be surprised how many people are interested in funding this project.”
Authority Board chairman Steve Hill told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he remains optimistic the Raiders can secure the funding to build the proposed 65,000-seat stadium for the NFL team and the UNLV football team.
“We’ve heard from a broad variety of people, but it’s the Raiders’ job, it is not our job to develop the private component of the financing,” Hill said. “I know they’re working on it and I appreciate them providing the update. It’s great to hear that (Badain) is confident that financing will be available, but we’re not a part of those negotiations.”
Nevada state lawmakers previously approved $750 million in public funding for a stadium to be paid by a Las Vegas-area hotel tax, and the Raiders have pledged $500 million.
Badain also apologized over wording in the proposed lease that would have limited UNLV’s use of the stadium.
“There won’t be any issues between us and UNLV over field markings,” Badain said, according to the Review-Journal. “I’m sorry that got blown out of proportion.”
Before the Raiders could move, they not only would need to get the stadium financing in place, but they also would need approval from 24 of the 32 NFL team owners.