There are a lot of people who would love to see a Las Vegas NFL team. Just about every football fan in Nevada could be counted among that list. The Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has certainly made his acquiescence known, hoping to bring the Silver and Black to the Silver State. But perhaps the most eager of all is casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Mr. Adelson is so keen on the idea, he’s been pushing hard to promote the sculpture of a “Las Vegas luxury” NFL stadium. And as we all know, in Las Vegas, the term “luxury” is never taken lightly. The stadium Adelson wants to see built would cost a staggering $1.9 billion – far more than any other NFL stadium has ever cost, and much more akin to the price tag of a luxury casino.
The Sands CEO wouldn’t be funding that 10-figure structure on his own, but he has committed to bankrolling a significant portion of the bill – $650 million of it. The Raiders’ Mr. Davis is equally excited about the prospects, prepared to shell out $500 million of his owner towards the stadium.
It doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out the contributions from Adelson and Davis wont cover the full balance, though. The remaining $750 million would have to come from public funding. Sheldon was quick to offer a solution to that little problem, though, proposing an increase of less than 1% in Clark County’s hotel room tax.
Las Vegas NFL Team – What’s In It For Adelson?
Being one of the richest men in America, reliant almost entirely upon the success of his land-based gambling resorts, it brings into question his motives.
In a recent interview with Yahoo! Finance, Daniel Roberts asked the 83 year old billionaire if his compulsion to bring an NFL football team to Las Vegas had anything to do with a long-standing desire to own such a grand athletic franchise. In contrast, Adelson stated that it wasn’t even his idea. That come from one of his lead advisers, Andy Abboud.
Adelson insisted to Roberts that his motivation is not personal gain. In fact, although Adelson admits knowing little about stadiums before he jumped into this deal, he said he does understand that they aren’t usually profitable, and therefore weren’t something he would ever want to “get up and start doing around the country.”
So what is it Mr. Adelson stands to gain from this? Apparently, it’s his sense of loyalty to the City of Sin – the city that made him the billionaire he is today – and all of its inhabitants (business owners and general population alike). He’s maintained all along that his interest in a Las Vegas NFL team has nothing to do with any side-effect-benefits that would come to his hotel casinos, but rather the city’s economy as a whole.
“I’m doing it because we see there could be some advantages to the whole community,” said Adelson. In explicating that concept, he began the list with inevitable benefits to his own business ventures.
“We could package our rooms with prime seats in the stadium for concerts, for mixed martial arts, for boxing, for college football, for major league soccer,” he said. “The last fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao could have filled a football stadium, it was in extremely high demand. And we think we could bring in Premier League soccer teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid. They could come in and do their friendlies. And that would bring crowds.”
Adelson isn’t just talking about enough people to fill his own Venetian hotel, though. He described a typical weekend during Las Vegas’ November-December off-season, where the stadium could “host a concert on Friday night, a college game on Saturday, and an NFL game on Sunday. And nobody’s coming in for one day. So each one of those will fill up all the hotels, not just mine.”