After losing out on the Los Angeles sweepstakes, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis is still seeking a home for the Silver and Black—Las Vegas Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson wants to build a $1 billion domed stadium on the UNLV campus, and has already arranged a meeting with Davis, according to an ESPN report.
The two are set to meet Friday to discuss the possibilities of relocating the team to Las Vegas, and to tour the proposed stadium site, casino officials confirmed to byteclay.com.
Adelson’s palace would seat 65,000, and his vision is for the UNLV Rebels to share the space with a professional sports team—it would be housed on 42 acres of land. Andy Abboud, Las Vegas Sands’ senior vice president of government relations and community development, said Thursday that Las Vegas needs a modern stadium with at least 65,000 seats to drive additional tourism to Southern Nevada. Abboud also added the consortium of investors in the new stadium believe in the plans vision, and view the venue as a possible hub for all major sporting events.
“We are moving forward with the stadium concept with or without an NFL team,” Abboud said Thursday. “We see a lot more opportunities — conference championships, bowl games, NFL exhibition football, boxing, soccer, neutral site games, and music festivals. There is an entire segment out there.”
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Los Angeles-based Majestic Realty Co. and the university are collaborating in conceptual design of the facility—the schools desire is to move its football team closer to campus, the Rebels have played at the 35,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium, located nine miles from campus, since 1971.
Las Vegas has yearned for a professional sports franchise for the better part of 20 years—there is already an arena in the works to house a hockey team, and expansion applications have been filed to the NHL to begin play in the 2017 season. The 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena, situated between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo casinos, was built entirely with the funds of private donors. According to the Review-Journal’s report, Abboud revealed the stadium would be a “public-private” project—meaning the Sands or the Adelson family would be responsible for contributing a large portion of the financing.
One of the biggest issues Davis faced during January’s NFL owners meeting where the Los Angeles vote took place, was his considerably lower means of economic presence. Consistently ranked among the world’s richest residents, Adelson could give Davis the seat at the table he is looking for.
Information from the Las Vegas Review-Journal contributed to this report.
David Barclay is an NFL Insider for byteclay.com. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @DJamesIII