Latest On Raiders’ Future: Vegas, Oakland, SD

After casino magnate Sheldon Adelson scrapped his plan to commit $650MM toward a $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas for the Raiders on Monday, there was a report that Goldman Sachs might also bail because of its relationship with Adelson. It turns out that will be the case. The investment firm will not help the Raiders finance a stadium without the 83-year-old Adelson’s involvement, a source told Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

Mark Davis

Goldman Sachs was supposed to be the Raiders’ fallback option in the event of Adelson’s withdrawal. Not having either could be a death blow to the franchise’s hopes of relocating to Las Vegas. With neither around to aid the Raiders, staying in Oakland for the long haul could become a more realistic scenario than it was was previously.

Raiders owner Mark Davis hasn’t been amenable to the joint stadium proposal that the city of Oakland and the Ronnie Lott-fronted Fortress Group have put forth, but the deal isn’t without merit, as CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes. The city would set aside 130 acres of land for a stadium and handle all the taxes associated with it, per La Canfora, who adds that the NFL would chip in $300MM. Another $300MM to $400MM would come from Fortress (plus whatever else is necessary to complete construction) toward a stadium to replace the outdated Oakland Coliseum. Fortress would also perhaps want an ownership stake in the Raiders – something Davis is not open to giving out – but there could be other ways for him to “make them whole,” according to La Canfora.

Lott’s group issued a hopeful statement Tuesday in the wake of the Adelson news, saying (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk): “We stand ready to work with the team and NFL to keep the Raiders here at home. We have the land available at the existing Coliseum site following the actions of the City of Oakland and Alameda County last December. We have a strong financing partner in Fortress Investment Group. We have an additional $100 million due to the NFL incentive to keep the Raiders in Oakland. And of course, we have the best fans in the world right here in the heart of Raider Nation. Add to all that a diverse and fast growing community, a top 10 television market, and more Fortune 500 companies than any region in the western United States. Bottom line, if the Raiders want to stay in Oakland, we are more than ready to be a partner in making that happen.”

If Davis can’t make things work in either Vegas or Oakland, the suddenly Chargers-less city of San Diego could quickly regain entry into the league. Mayor Kevin Faulconer reached out to the NFL on Tuesday to let the league know it’s interested in the Oakland franchise, while another San Diego official at least made an attempt to contact the Raiders, but it’s unknown if the two sides spoke, reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

San Diego’s plan to erect a stadium for a Major League Soccer franchise could help its cause in landing the Raiders, relays Acee, who notes that the proposal “sets aside a 16-acre parcel specifically for an NFL stadium” to replace Qualcomm Stadium. Further, Davis “loves” the city and might be more flexible in negotiations to build a facility there than Chargers owner Dean Spanos was. It’s also worth noting that the league didn’t want to lose the San Diego market, as the Chargers’ relocation left commissioner Roger Goodell “disappointed” and owners “very upset.” Those same parties haven’t been overly enthusiastic regarding the prospect of the Raiders playing in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the United States.

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