There is one basic tenet that you need to know when dealing with the National Football League. Very simple– “show me the money.” That was the term used in the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, and two decades later nothing has changed. In Las Vegas, casino operators know that slogan too. The mutual goal here, putting an NFL team, presumably the Oakland Raiders, into a Las Vegas stadium. This could be partially funded by the Raiders ownership under the leadership of Mark Davis or the owner of the Sands hotel Sheldon Adelson with one other local party– the taxpayers.
So far, so good, Davis is going nowhere fast in his talks to get a new Oakland facility. Twenty-one years has passed since his father moved his football team from Los Angeles to Oakland after the local stadium commission promised an upgrade at taxpayers’ expense at the Oakland stadium. Taxpayers are still paying down the debt on that stadium renovation. For the time being, Davis and the Raiders’ ownership have decided to stay in the San Francisco Bay Area on an annual contract. The ownership is free to move the team after the 2016 season. That is the only proper use of the word “free” in the Raiders’ ownership stadium quest. The Las Vegas proposal reportedly depends on Davis putting up $500 million for stadium cost and Adelson and the Sands also throwing in some money. Even so, there is still allegedly a $700 million gap in financing which would have to be picked up by local Las Vegas and Nevada taxpayers. At this point, no one seems to know how that will be paid although some suggest that it be through typical sports incentive packages, such as the always popular hike in the hotel/motel sales tax have arisen. For Las Vegas to get an NFL team, people with no interest in the NFL would be taxed. That’s how it is with sports owners and their political partners.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.