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Raiders owner Mark Davis lost a Las Vegas stadium deal with a lowball rent offer

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Prospective partner and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson backed out of the deal. Then, their backup plan fell through too.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It appeared as if the Oakland Raiders were pretty well set to establish plans for a new stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, but those plans were derailed on Thursday. It may have been deliberate on the part of Raiders owner Mark Davis.

The Raiders were working with Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson on a stadium deal incorporating $600 million of funding from Adelson with $750 million in public funds that have already been approved and another $500 million from the Raiders.

However, Davis proposed the Raiders would pay $1 in annual rent and have full control over the facility, according to the Nevada Independent’s Jackie Valley. That was a deal breaker for Adelson, who is no longer willing to negotiate.

“(Adelson) said today, ‘I’m done. I’m out. I’m not negotiating,’” a source with knowledge of the deal said, according to the Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston.

The Raiders filed for relocation in January, and although a move still must be approved by at least 24 of 32 owners, the team had made substantial headway in its efforts to establish a home in Las Vegas. With funding being the biggest obstacle to any new stadium, securing $750 million in approved public funding was a big step forward.

The team informed NFL owners weeks ago that, should Adelson back out of the deal, Goldman Sachs was ready and willing to supply the same level of funding, according to Richard Velotta of the Las Vegas Review Journal. That fallback plan would have given Davis considerable leverage in negotiations with Adelson. However, in a further blow to the Raiders’ immediate hopes of getting to Vegas, Goldman Sachs also pulled out of their commitment to the stadium.

There is, of course, speculation that a funding partnership with a casino executive would have raised some concerns among owners and could have jeopardized the Raiders’ plans to relocate to Las Vegas.

Oakland applied for relocation to Los Angeles in 2016, but the Rams were approved for the move. The San Diego Chargers were given the option of joining the Rams in Los Angeles, which they accepted following the 2016 season.

The Raiders are serious about a move to Las Vegas, but now, without the backing of Adelson or Goldman Sachs, it’s going to be difficult for the Raiders to have a concrete stadium plan to present to owners at the league meeting in March.