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Raiders: Las Vegas stadium financing secure, with or without Adelson investment

Oakland Raiders executives have told the NFL that Goldman Sachs is committed to financing the team’s proposed domed stadium in Las Vegas with or without an investment from casino executive Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board learned Thursday.

Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis, the company serving as staff to the authority, on Thursday provided an update on the Raiders’ relocation efforts after consulting with team officials earlier in the day.

Aguero’s statement to the authority board provided a clearer picture of what the NFL’s stadium and finance committees were told by the Raiders at a Wednesday meeting in New York.

“The team’s presentation highlighted its research that the Las Vegas market can support the team, that bringing the NFL to the market aligns with the league’s strategic goals and that Goldman Sachs is committed to financing the project with or without a third party,” Aguero said.

“The Raiders told the committees that there is no deal in place yet with the Adelson family and that the team is pursuing approval with no third-party involvement,” Aguero said. “However, if an accord with the Adelson family is reached later, the team would bring that back for league approval.”

The Raiders and Adelson, the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., are the private partners behind a planned $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed football stadium. The plan currently calls for $750 million in Clark County hotel room tax revenue, $650 million from the Adelson family and $500 million from the Raiders and the NFL to fund construction.

Las Vegas Sands executive Andy Abboud, a spokesman for the Adelson family, said late Thursday that talks are continuing.

“It’s a complicated negotiation and there are a lot of different details involved that we need to resolve,” Abboud said.

“It’s really a matter of coming up with something that works for the family, the Raiders and the NFL,” he said. “Talks are ongoing.”

Abboud said he could not elaborate on what issues are in dispute.

Aguero told the board no formal action was taken by the NFL committees, “but it is our understanding that the Raiders organization continues to gain positive momentum relative to the process of relocation.”

“The Raiders discussed with the NFL the process for filing its application for relocation. The team received support on the Las Vegas project both inside the committee room and publicly with positive comments coming from some owners,” Aguero said.

Tom Blanda, senior vice president of stadium development and operations for the Raiders, attended Thursday’s authority board meeting and said he was optimistic the matter would be resolved within a month.

“Right now, negotiations are proceeding and we’ll see if we come to an agreement with the Sands [Adelson] family. I’m not really sure who else we’ll talk to,” he said.

Blanda did not address the board.

“The Sands [Adelson] family has been gracious and has sat and negotiated with us from the get-go on this,” Blanda said. “We’ll see how things resolve themselves.”

Asked what issues were holding up an agreement, Blanda said he couldn’t discuss those details.

“It’s a legal negotiation and I don’t step into that,” he said.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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