Casino operator Las Vegas Sands wants to build a $1b stadium in Las Vegas and they want the Oakland Raiders to call it home.
On Thursday, Sands senior VP Andy Abboud confirmed that the company was spearheading a group of investors looking to build a 65k-seat domed stadium near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The complex would host the UNLV football team and possibly an NFL franchise.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal quoted Abboud saying Sands and/or the family of its owner, Sheldon Adelson, would contribute a significant portion of the funding for the public-private partnership. Abboud said Sands would present a formal plan sometime over the next two months to the branch of local government tasked with identifying ways to drive tourism.
On Friday, Raiders owner Mark Davis is scheduled to meet with Adelson and to scout out the 42-acre plot on which Adelson wants to build his stadium. The Raiders were in the running to move to Los Angeles (for the second time) but lost out to the St. Louis Rams (another L.A. fugitive) earlier this month.
Abboud said the stadium could host everything from football to boxing to music festivals. Abboud claims that Sands had been in talks with other NFL teams besides the Raiders but insisted the company’s commitment to the stadium wasn’t contingent on landing a pro football team.
Which is a good thing, since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would sooner stick knitting needles in his eyes than allow a team to play in the shadow of legal sportsbooks (unless they’re English, of course). Don’t forget, this is the league that forced the cancellation of a fantasy sports tournament because it was being held in a non-gaming facility in Vegas owned by, er, Sands. So don’t book those season tickets just yet.