OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Raiders fans have new hope that the team will stay in Oakland after two major investors are out of the deal to build a $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas.
Billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson said Monday he will no longer invest $650 million to help pay for the cost of building a new stadium for the Raiders near the Las Vegas strip.
Adelson is reportedly ticked off because he was recently left out of a key lease agreement meeting between the Las Vegas Stadium Authority and the Raiders. There is also word that without Adelson’s involvement, investor Goldman Sachs is out too.
Griz Jones, founder of Forever Oakland, said that development only helps their cause of keeping the Raiders in Oakland.
“We knew that Vegas wasn’t the healthy choice just because the aura and the presence and the swagger of the Oakland Raiders is Oakland,” he said.
Chris Dobbins of Save Oakland Sports said a deal in the desert is far from over. It is still up to the NFL owners to decide whether to approve the team’s move to Vegas. A move would require approval from three quarters of NFL owners. It is possible the owners could take a vote when they meet in March.
“We need nine votes,” Dobbins said. “There are 32 owners. All we need is nine votes to make the dream to go to Vegas not a reality.”
The Raiders released a statement thanking Adelson and his family. It read in part: “We know this project could not have advanced to this point without them. The Raiders remain steadfast in honoring Mark Davis’ commitment to Governor Sandoval and the State of Nevada to pursue relocation to Las Vegas.”
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf though, remains focused on her goal.
“I am excited about keeping our Raiders here,” she said. “I am excited that we have a business partner that has the capacity and willingness to privately finance a stadium here in Oakland. We have some things that Las Vegas will never have. That is legacy and loyalty.”
Dobbins and Jones both support a plan by former NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott to build a privately financed stadium at the Coliseum site in Oakland.