Remember way back yesterday, when I noted that billionaire Sheldon Adelson pulling out of the deal to build a Las Vegas stadium for the Oakland Raiders didn’t necessarily kill those plans, because Raiders owner Mark Davis had Goldman Sachs lined up as a backup financial partner? Well, that didn’t even last a day:
Goldman Sachs, the banking giant the Raiders told NFL owners would finance part of the $1.9-billion proposal even without Adelson’s involvement, pulled away from the project Tuesday.
The arrangement with Goldman Sachs was contingent on Adelson’s partnership with the Raiders in the development, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Without Adelson, the person said, there isn’t any deal.
It’s not entirely clear here whether Adelson leaned on Goldman not to do the deal without him (he says he didn’t), or Goldman decided that retaining the support of Nevada elected officials was too dicey without Adelson, or Goldman never wanted to do the deal without Adelson and Davis was just an idiot for assuming they would. (Actually, most of the scenarios here involve Davis being an idiot.) Either way, though, this presents a huge stumbling block in the way of Davis cashing in on Nevada’s promise of $750 million in public money toward a stadium, which at least one legislator is threatening to revoke if the Raiders owner can’t work something out ASAP:
The political fallout Tuesday included a suggestion by Aaron Ford, majority leader in Nevada’s Senate, that public money for the stadium could be diverted for other purposes if the situation isn’t quickly resolved.
“If progress is not made toward financing the stadium project in a timely fashion, we will introduce legislation to create the jobs that were promised and contemplated by stadium construction,” Ford said.
All the leverage is back in Adelson’s court, in other words, if he wants to resume his demands for a large cut of team revenues and possibly of ownership as well. You have to figure he’ll at least try, because he’d be stupid not to — though there’s enough stupid already floating around this deal already that a little more wouldn’t be all that surprising.