The Raiders and the NFL planned to pool $500 million with $750 million from Nevada taxpayers. Without Adelson and the investment bank picking up the rest of the tab, it’s unclear how the team plans to fund its $2 billion Las Vegas dream home.
News of the deal falling apart has also reignited a conversation about luring the Raiders an hour south to a Silicon Valley stadium built for two.
The city of Santa Clara’s $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers, was built with an extra locker room in case another team decided to sublet the space, according to Mayor Lisa Gillmor. But it’s too soon to say whether the city will pitch Raiders owner Mark Davis on sharing digs with Jed York’s Niners.
“There has to be willingness from the Raiders and the 49ers to work together,” Gillmor said. “But the structure is there and the space is set up for two teams.”
Gillmor said she doubts that Santa Clara’s fraught relationship with the Niners would complicate plans to accommodate a new team. The 49ers recently sued the city after Gillmor and others City Council members accused the club of withholding stadium financial records.
If anything, Gillmor said, the city is better prepared to hammer out a contract that benefits both the public and the Raiders. The mayor added that it’s up to the 49ers to bring up the possibility of sharing Levi’s with Davis, who was reportedly uninterested in calling Santa Clara home a few years ago—the last time the offer was discussed.
“The ball’s in the 49ers’ court, as far as approval rights for a second team goes,” Gillmor said. “We haven’t discussed that yet, but they seem to be doing well financially right now. We’ll definitely have to revisit that contract discussion.”
Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill said Santa Clara has a stronger selling point than Vegas or San Antonio, Texas—another location considered by the Raiders—due to the Bay Area’s larger media market and high average income.
In the event that Davis hunkers down—temporarily or otherwise—at Levi’s Stadium, the venue would need a bit of a makeover.
“Right now, it’s the house the Yorks built,” O’Neill acknowledged. “Maybe part of the presentation to Davis could be showing him how quickly they could obfuscate the impact of the 49ers branding.”
S.F. 49ers communications director Bob Lange texted a brief statement to San Jose Inside regarding the prospects of the Raiders joining the Niners at Levi’s Stadium: “It's our understanding that the Raiders are focused on their own stadium project.”