We are going to be hearing some ridiculous things regarding the Oakland Raiders’ potential next home should they not remain in their home market.
But this one absolutely takes the cake:
BREAKING: UNLV plans to partner w/Adelson on stadium, bringing Raiders officials to town Friday to look at site: https://t.co/2dkVbQWSw8
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) January 28, 2016
In case you are not familiar with Ralston, he hosts a state-wide radio show on PBS in Nevada and is well connected with the goings on in that state.
Still, this seems to be bit ridiculous on so many levels.
First off, gambling is legal in the state of Nevada. The double standard and potential backhanded dealings between the professional sports world (players included) and the gambling lobby in Nevada would be a huge concern if the state were to house a team.
This is one of the primary reasons the state of Nevada does not have a professional sports team in the four major North American leagues.
Then you have this: The name Sheldon Adelson might mean something to you. He’s the chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation — the parent company of The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.
Needless to say, Adelson has created some rather interesting relationships within the gambling community, none more alarming than with disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom Delay and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Is Mark Davis really going to want to get into bed with someone in that industry? Would the NFL even allow it following the gambling scandal that cost former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo his team? These are obvious questions that would have to be answered.
As it is, the potential of the Raiders considering a move to Vegas might be real.
University of Nevada Las Vegas President Len Jessup sent a letter to a small group of individuals on Thursday indicating that plans for a new venue are already off the ground, per Ralston:
“I have been notified that the Las Vegas Sands plans to publicly announce its support for a new special events stadium in Southern Nevada and they believe the 42 acres of land on Tropicana Avenue that UNLV recently purchased is a prime location.”
The memo continued:
“Correspondingly, the Sands leadership team let us know that officials from the Oakland Raiders are scheduled to travel to Las Vegas and tour locations around the valley for a potential new home and they have asked us to meet them at our 42-acre site on Friday morning to answer questions about the site.”
This has to be a leverage play, right?
The potential issues with the Raiders moving to Las Vegas would be real. Not only is there a conflict of interest as it relates to the gambling community, there is absolutely no precedent for this in the professional sports world.
At the very least Mark Davis and the Raiders are keeping their options open. That could go a long way in terms of negotiations with the city of Oakland pertaining to a new venue in their home market.