LANTANA, Fla. — Bank of America will back the $1.9 billion Las Vegas football stadium sought by Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, paving the way for the team’s move to Southern Nevada, he told NFL owners Monday.
Davis and Raiders President Marc Badain informed the league’s finance committee that funding for the planned 65,000-seat facility is in place with the banking giant, which regularly does business with the NFL, a league spokesman revealed to the Review-Journal.
Bank of America’s $650 million stake will be a loan and will not include an equity stake in the team or the stadium.
Davis greeted a Review-Journal reporter with a big smile after Monday’s meeting, but he would not confirm what transpired behind closed doors at a posh ocean-front hotel and spa in South Florida.
“I have no news,’’ he said, smiling.
The Raiders told the finance and stadium committees that everything is in place for a relocation vote at the NFL Annual Meeting March 26-29 in Phoenix. Twenty-four of 32 owners must approve the proposal to cement the Raiders’ move and trigger construction of the Las Vegas stadium.
The vote also could be delayed until the next time owners convene, in late May in Chicago. Owners don’t have to meet to vote — they also could cast relocation “ballots’’ via conference call.
Prior to Monday’s meeting, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan told the Review-Journal that “much work needs to be done’’ before the NFL comes to Southern Nevada.
“It will get done when it gets done,’’ Khan said.
Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said he heard the news of Bank of America’s involvement.
“The individual I talked to at the NFL strictly said they’d confirm Bank of America would provide the financing but would provide no further comment,” he said.
It seems unlikely Bay Area politicians and investors can prevent the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also appeared Monday before NFL owners, along with Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott, making a last stand for a new stadium in Alameda County.
Lott is working with the Fortress Group, an investment company that recently resubmitted its stadium proposal to the league, but it was not substantively different from December’s initial submission. No one from the Fortress Group attended Monday’s meetings.
A league spokesman said no new proposal, nor elimination of obstacles relating to the Oakland A’s 10-year lease issue at Oakland Alameda Coliseum, was provided by the mayor’s group. The Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority could deploy a two-year termination clause on the baseball club, but no one from the mayor’s team made that pledge. The mayor’s office has no power to exercise that clause.
The Raiders were forced to find a new financing partner after Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson withdrew his family’s $650 million pledge to the project. Goldman Sachs also exited the deal in January. The rest of the stadium’s construction would be funded by the Raiders ($500 million) and bonds backed by an increase in the Clark County hotel room tax ($750 million) that was approved by the Nevada Legislature.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority would own the multipurpose stadium, which also would be used by the UNLV football program.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.