Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the NFL believes that casino owner Sheldon Adelson wants to acquire a path to a controlling interest in the Raiders as part of the agreement to relocate the team to Las Vegas.
Florio mentions that the fact that Adelson owns a casino creates a big issue that could make it more difficult for the Raiders to secure approval from NFL owners to relocate the team.
Beyond that, it’s likely that Raiders owner Mark Davis would take issue with Adelson wanting to take over controlling interest in the team for obvious reasons.
According to Florio, there are still multiple options for Davis to partner with a billionaire who would finance a new Oakland stadium. However, the belief is that anyone who would put kind of money it would take to build a stadium would also want to buy controlling interest in the franchise.
Adelson previously mentioned that he is prepared to walk away from the stadium deal to build a new facility for the Raiders in Las Vegas unless the terms of the improve.
“I negotiated to bring in the Oakland Raiders, an NFL football team from Oakland, because they don’t have a stadium there, that I would build a stadium and rent it out to the Oakland Raiders,” Adelson said on Wednesday, via Ari Rabinovitch of Reuters.
Adelson added that the Raiders are asking for too much right now and even though he helped gain approval for the project last week, it sounds like he’s prepared to move on.
“They want so much,” Adelson said. “So I told my people, ‘Tell them I could live with the deal, I could live without the deal. Here’s the way it’s gonna go down. If they don’t want it, bye-bye.”
Jason Cole of B/R also reported that negotiations between the NFL, the Raiders and Adelson had “hit a snag” in recent weeks and his sources mentioned that Adelson’s interest in the project has been “tenuous” all along and he nearly walked away from the project a month ago.
Adelson has committed $650 million to the Las Vegas stadium project, but NFL bylaws prevent him from owning a piece of a franchise. Albert Breer previously mentioned that Adelson could still get revenue from non-NFL events, but there’s also question whether this would be a worthwhile investment for him.
The Raiders would need 24 votes to relocate the team to Las Vegas and Raiders owner Mark Davis is expected to file for relocation in January.
The city of Oakland is still expected to make another attempt to keep the Raiders in the Bay Area.
We’ll have more regarding the Raiders and Las Vegas as the news is available.