Unless you’re one of those critics who have opposed the NFL’s presence in Southern Nevada all along, we’re all disappointed about what happened last week in the Las Vegas/Oakland Raiders Stadium debacle.
Whether you blame the Raiders, Sheldon Adelson, Goldman Sachs, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, the Nevada Legislature or Tom Brady for what happened, it’s important for local residents to keep their eye on the prize: doing what Houston is doing on Sunday, hosting the Super Bowl.
A short summary of what happened: Adelson and the Raiders were in negotiations on a development deal to build a 65,000-seat stadium. The Raiders told the National Football League that even if they didn’t reach agreement with Adelson, they had Goldman Sachs waiting in the wings to provide financing without Adelson.
When the Raiders delivered a proposed lease agreement to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority that made no mention of Adelson and didn’t tell Adelson about it, he concluded that the Raiders didn’t need or want him, so he withdrew. Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, said its financing was contingent on Adelson being a partner, so it withdrew, leaving the Raiders without a partner and apparently without financing.
It’s a potential deal scuttler, but there’s still time before NFL owners vote in late March to approve, disapprove or delay the Raiders’ request to relocate to Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, we’ll watch Sunday’s matchup between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium, knowing that any party in Houston would be twice as good in Las Vegas.
One of the benefits of having a brand new NFL stadium is that you’re pushed toward the front of the line for hosting the Big Game.
Local officials know the NFL’s presence in Southern Nevada would be a boon to the tourism industry and hosting a Super Bowl would be a bonanza.
At a panel discussion last week, Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel said having the NFL in Las Vegas “would be like having a train coming through your living room.”
Derek Stevens, the owner of the D, the Golden Gate and the Downtown Events Center, hoping that downtown’s Cashman Center would be the stadium site, added, “It wouldn’t matter to me whether they build the stadium in Laughlin or Mesquite,” just as long as the NFL is here.
Las Vegas has the ability to host a mega event like the Super Bowl with its 150,000 hotel rooms and an airport that could potentially be 10 minutes from the stadium.
Cathy Tull, a senior Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority vice president, when asked if Las Vegas could host a Super Bowl if a stadium is in place, said, “Absolutely.”
She noted that Las Vegas already has the third presidential debate last fall and 2007’s NBA All-Star Game and several years of CES on its resume.
And after all, we already have our name on a game.
The NFL championship in 2021 will be Super Bowl LV.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.