September 23, 2021

The Raiders are making a lot of money by moving to Las Vegas

Ready to wrap up Week 2, in Vegas of all places …

• I’m not sure the Raiders have gotten quite the credit they deserve for pulling off what they have the last five years, so I’ll give it to them. Navigating everything the team did to get here is a monumental achievement. After having their joint L.A. project with the Chargers shot down and landing third in the pecking order for the Inglewood stadium (remember, the Chargers went in 2017 on the fear the Raiders would take their spot if they didn’t), the Raiders really seemed to be out of options.

Months later, they wound up with $750 million in public funding for a state-of-the-art building in Vegas, survived the departure from the project of Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs (which had given the effort its backbone early on) and figured a way to wade through the complex politics of the area all the way to the groundbreaking of a stadium with a price tag near $2 billion.

Now, we can argue over the principle of public funding, for sure, and whether team owners in any sport should have new palaces subsidized by the government. But what’s clear here is this: Raiders owner Mark Davis has been way savvier than anyone thought he’d be in pulling this off, with team president Marc Badain leading the way on the business side.

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