Raiders Sound Off: Upping the Ante

In our second installment of Raiders Sound-Off r8dercain shares his thoughts about the most recent developments in the Vegas saga:

So here we have another knot in the Mark Davis / Sheldon Adelson Las Vegas stadium deal…

Artist rendering of a new Las Vegas Raiders stadium. (Courtesy of Manica Architecture)
Artist rendering of a new Las Vegas Raiders stadium. (Courtesy of Manica Architecture)

According to a story published via Reuters late this week, Sheldon Adelson is ready to leave Mark Davis behind on a deal that seemed, for many, bulletproof. What may have appeared like a slam dunk a month ago, is now looking a little shakier than once perceived. More specifically, Sheldon recently indicated that if Mark doesn’t upgrade his end of the deal, he will have no problem proceeding without the man with the orange bowl cut. In the article, he is quoted as saying:

“They want so much,” he said. “So I told my people, ‘Tell them I could live with the deal, I could live without the deal. Here’s the way it’s gonna go down. If they don’t want it, bye-bye.'” 

Furthermore, Adeslon is now seeking what many suspected when rumors of this deal first broke–a piece of the team ownership. Not surprisingly, Mark refuses to give up any percentage of ownership even if it meant he could remain the majority owner. Adelson also made it clear that without a part of the ownership, Mark Davis still has the option to rent, not buy:

“I negotiated to bring in the Oakland Raiders, an NFL football team from Oakland, because they don’t have a stadium there, that I would build a stadium and rent it out to the Oakland Raiders.”

This leads us to believe that Mark Davis may have originally thought he was going to sit back and just get something handed down to him without sacrificing a piece of his beloved franchise. This seems rather naive and foolish but, then again, remember who we’re dealing with. Whether the ginger topped heir to the Silver Throne is smarter than he looks remains to be seen.

So here we are at the Crossroads…does Mark Davis go limping back to the table with Oakland or does he sell a percentage of his team to Sheldon Adelson? Some fans are already sour at the thought of the team moving. What would some of you think if part of this storied franchise is sold off to a stormy character such as Mr. Adelson?

My thoughts are that Mark Davis planned on staying in Oakland all along. At least, those were his words back when Oakland was being courted by San Antonio and were simultaneously mired in the soap opera that was/is the Los Angeles relocation project.

Thus far, Oakland has still not come to the table with a viable stadium plan to his or the league’s liking. In fact, Oakland hasn’t brought anything to the table whatsoever. On the other hand, Mark has done little to seek out solutions of his own. Rather, he has sat back and entertained offers from potential suitors in San Diego, San Antonio, Los Angeles, and most recently, Las Vegas.

Why Mark Davis hasn’t already reached out to the tech-rich Bay Area for potential funding is a mystery. One would think that there are many possible suitors with money to burn in the heart of Silicon Valley. Alas, none have come forward and none have been approached (that we know), save for former Raider Ronnie Lott.

Ronnie Lott in an Los Angeles Raiders uniform in Sept., 1991. (Lara Cerri/Mercury News) -- SLUG: lott09g PHOTO DATE: 1991 SCAN DATE: 5/7/2008 CREDIT: Mercury News
Ronnie Lott in an Los Angeles Raiders uniform in Sept., 1991. (Lara Cerri/Mercury News) — SLUG: lott09g PHOTO DATE: 1991 SCAN DATE: 5/7/2008 CREDIT: Mercury News

…Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Ronnie Lott’s finance group, in addition to the commissioner himself, are working hard to persuade Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to approve a deal that would keep the team at home in the East Bay. The major obstacles that stand in the way of this project remain the same: How to raise the rest of the money without taxing the public, and where to put the displaced Oakland Athletics? And around and around we go.

What this seems like it is coming down to is that Mr. Davis will have to sell part of his team or remain a renter whether it be in Oakland, Las Vegas, or Timbuktu for that matter. He just doesn’t have enough liquid assets to be a player without giving up a chunk of his pirate ship.

In the meantime, there’s not much the fans of the Oakland Raiders can do except argue over the whereabouts of their future residence and enjoy the possibility of sitting at the 6-2 mark halfway through the 2016 season.

So, for now…pillage the Broncos and make a playoff push..Go Raiders!

Written by r8dercain (ed. by Kenny Stapler)