$750 Million Not Negotiable Says Sands Executive Goldstein
The Las Vegas Sands Corp. said its offer on bringing a football stadium to Las Vegas is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. Rob Goldstein, an executive for the Las Vegas casino company, told a committee inside the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “We’re not negotiable.”
Rob Goldstein is the Sands president. The Sands is part a group seeking an NFL-ready stadium in Vegas. The group is proposing a stadium with a building cost estimated to be over $1.3 billion. The group wants the public to fund over half of the building costs.
That is why Rob Goldstein told the state officials, “If we can’t get 750 [million], we respectfully thank you but we’re going to move on.”
Already, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has offered to put up $500 million towards the stadium. Las Vegas Sands founder and CEO, Sheldon Adelson, has offered another $150 million. That leaves the remainder of the costs to be carried by the state and local government.
Gov. Sandoval’s Plans
Gov. Brian Sandoval has his own proposal for the state to contribute $500 million to building costs. That leaves a discrepancy of $250 million, which appears to be enough to send Las Vegas Sands Corp walking.
Under both plans, the tax money to fund the stadium would come from a hotel room tax in Las Vegas, as well as a special taxation district around the stadium complex.
Sports Illustrated Story
There might be some dispute over whether the stadium will be publicly-owned or privately-owned. Sports Illustrated reported that the stadium would be publicly-owned, yet it also reported an exchange between officials and executives in which the government representatives felt the need to stake a position on ownership.
Steve Hill, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development and chairman of the stadium oversight committee, told Mr. Goldstein, “There’s been a lot of conversation on why are we giving money to billionaires. The public is not making a contribution to a privately owned stadium.”
Las Vegas Raiders Trademarks
The Oakland Raiders are moving ahead as if the stadium is going to be build. This week, the Raiders filed 3 trademark applications for the name “Las Vegas Raiders” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Raiders officials are expected to apply for the right to move from Oakland to Las Vegas by the NFL in January 2017. For a team to relocate, that team needs 75% of the votes or 24-of-32 owners to approve the move. Since the team gets a vote, they essentially need 23 other NFL owners to approve their move.
NFL Approval Needed for Move
It is expected that the Raiders will receive approval. The team was turned down in a bid to move to Los Angeles just months ago, so the owners are unlucky to deny the request now.
Even more, the Raiders have been unable to receive a modern stadium from the city of Oakland. NFL owners understand better than anyone else the transformative nature a modern stadium has to a team’s fortunes. Old stadiums do not have sky-boxes, which can be sold at exorbitant prices.
Furthermore, a city like Las Vegas is going to have more than its share of high rollers who want to impress clients. Corporations based outside the city might buy Las Vegas Raiders packages, to wine and dine potential business partners, clients, and customers. The Las Vegas Raiders would have the resources to compete on a more even footing with its rivals than the Oakland Raiders would.
Given revenue sharing, those rivals would stand to gain directly from the move. The owners already have turned down Mark Davis once this offseason. Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft have expressed support for the idea of a Las Vegas franchise.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has expressed support, which seems to clear the way for any concerns about an NFL franchise locating in a casino resort city. Thus, they are likely to support a move to Las Vegas.