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Las Vegas Committee Recommends $750 Million in Public Funds for New Raiders Stadium

This would be the largest ever public subsidy for a NFL stadium.

Mike Vorkunov

The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee voted Thursday to recommend using $750 million of public money to build a possible NFL stadium and lure the Raiders away from Oakland. The highest ever public subsidy for a NFL stadium would go toward a 65,000-seat domed arena partially paid for by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who was recently estimated to be worth $31.9 billion, making him the 22nd richest person on the planet.

It's the latest step taken by Las Vegas to bring the Raiders to the city and create an amoral bacchanal eight Sundays a year like Nevada has never seen before.

"We are excited," Raiders owner Mark Davis told USA Today.

The stadium, according to the report, would also be used by the UNLV football team. Adelson—again, worth tens of billions of dollars—would put in $650 million (or $100 million less than the public) and the Raiders would chip in $500 million, to make for a $1.9 billion money pit. In order to get such a sweetheart deal, the Las Vegas Sands, a casino and resort owned by Adelson, threatened to back out from the proposal if the state didn't approve at least $750 million from the public, by way of increased hotel taxes. The 22nd richest man on earth came out on top, and the oddsmakers take a beating.

The Raiders were one of the teams in the running to move to Los Angeles after the 2015 season, and are still looking for a new home—or at least a new stadium. While Davis is clearly excited to get one of the richest men in the world to threaten an entire city into funding a stadium for him, he still needs to win over Nevada's governor, its legislature, and 23 other NFL owners to let the Raiders move there.

This could all be a bluff by the Raiders to get a stadium built in Oakland and replace the Coliseum but every new step taken by Davis and Las Vegas makes that seem less likely. So maybe this will happen after all. Vegas, these multi-millionaire/billionaire old crusts who want everyone else to pay for their toys, and the NFL deserve each other.

[ESPN]