The Oakland Raiders would very much like not to be the Oakland Raiders for much longer, and their ability to shed their Bay Area digs for the desert depends in part on how well they can put together a $1.9 billion deal for a new stadium. Billionaire GOP donor/goblin king Sheldon Adelson was supposed to pick up $650 million of the tab, but he backed out in late January. The Raiders confidently assured the public that Goldman Sachs was planning on swooping in and replacing Adelson, but they too hightailed it away from the deal a day after Adelson.
With Vegas kicking in $750 million in public financing, and the Raiders paying $500 million, Adelson’s piece of the pie isn’t the largest amount anyone was supposed to pay in the original deal, but it’s necessary to getting the stadium built. Enter Bank of America, who will now loan out the $650 million..
The Los Angeles Daily News’s Vincent Bonsignore first reported the bank’s involvement, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal later received confirmation from an NFL spokesperson that the Raiders told the NFL’s stadium and finance committees earlier today that they’d gotten the bank on board. The stage is set for a possible relocation vote at the NFL Annual Meeting, which takes place on March 26-29 in Phoenix. Raiders owner Mark Davis will need 24 of the 32 owners to approve his plan for the team to leave, although the vote won’t necessarily have to take place in Phoenix later this month.
Meanwhile, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf was part of a group that presented their city’s stadium plan to the NFL today. However, nobody from Ronnie Lott’s investment group was present, and the Oakland stadium deal apparently has not changed. With Bank of America’s involvement secured and the NFL confident in the deal, Las Vegas sure looks like the favorite right now.