Las Vegas Raiders
Bringing the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas
After being approached by our client, the Las Vegas Sands and the Adelson Family, our team was informed that they had been in talks with the Oakland Raiders to potentially relocate the team to Las Vegas. However, a project like this would require the help of the state legislature, the support of the public and a new stadium for the team.
In order to make this dream a reality, our team had to accomplish several tasks in a short time frame. The first was to find a funding mechanism for the stadium after Goldman Sachs determined that $750m in public financing would be necessary in order to make the deal work for all parties. However, our team was immediately confronted with several obstacles in working to close this deal. First, stadium projects have been proposed every session for the last six years, ultimately going nowhere because of the lack of collective support from stakeholders. Second, our client has traditionally almost exclusively supported Republican candidates, and this legislation would require many Democratic votes to achieve the 2/3rds majority needed to pass the bill. Third, to meet NFL timelines, a special session of the Legislature was required. Finally, the $750 million in public funding proposed represented what would be the largest public participation ever in a stadium project. While it was agreed upon that an NFL stadium in Las Vegas that could also be used as a large-scale concert and events space would be vital to the southern Nevada market, there was only so far that the allure of the NFL would go to closing the deal.
We worked with our client to develop a winning strategy. The most important component of the strategy was to develop a broad coalition of supporters. In order to build this coalition, our client had to work with groups that it traditionally had not. Because the project had such a broad economic impact, we were able to forge relationships with the Governor, organized labor, the entire Las Vegas Strip, the Nevada Resort Association, chambers of commerce, and several others. Building this coalition and having buy-in on the project from our state’s biggest influencers would be the key to success.
In October 2016, following a special session of the Nevada Legislature, Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law the largest public funding project in Nevada history and in March 2017, the NFL approved the Raiders proposal to move to Las Vegas. Now, Las Vegas is currently building the largest football stadium in the nation which will allow the city to host dozens of events which it is currently unable to accommodate.