Steve Wynn Backs Las Vegas Raiders as Projected Stadium Cost Balloons

Posted on: July 12, 2016, 11:28h. 

Last updated on: July 12, 2016, 11:28h.

Steve Wynn Oakland Raiders Las Vegas NFL
Steve Wynn is actively trying to bring Las Vegas its first NFL franchise, as the billionaire believes no city is more deserving. (Image:

Steve Wynn wants to see NFL football played on Sundays in Las Vegas. TMZ recently caught up with the Wynn Resorts billionaire in Los Angeles who told the celebrity news outlet that he’s working hard to bring the Oakland Raiders franchise to Sin City.

“I don’t think any city is better suited for a team,” Wynn said. “I think having the Raiders in Las Vegas is the perfect thing to compliment the city, and to give everybody another excuse to come to Las Vegas . . . We’ve got all those wonderful rooms at the right price.”

“I’m one of the people working hard to get it done,” Wynn revealed.

The backers of bringing Mark Davis’ Raiders to the desert is turning into a who’s who of Vegas money.

The project’s primary supporter is Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson. Worth an estimated $30 billion, Adelson and Wynn have both been getting really rich for decades off their Vegas and Macau casinos.

But millennials coming into their own and beginning to settle down and raise families don’t seem as willing as prior generations to gamble. Traditional slots and certain table formats are losing their luster, and casino bosses are looking for new ways to bring tourists to Las Vegas.

The NFL is an obvious solution as the league remains the most popular sport in America. However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has opposed bringing a team to Las Vegas due to the state’s legal sports betting market.

Stadium Cost Skyrockets

Along with Majestic Realty Co, Adelson and Davis are looking to build a 65,000-seat retractable domed stadium that requires a minimum of 50 acres. The cost for such a venue was originally slated around $1.4 billion, but this week Adelson’s team admitted the cost is more likely to range between $1.7 and $2.1 billion.

That means the proposed Raiders stadium would be worth nearly twice as much as the entire franchise. The Raiders are one of just seven NFL franchises valued under $1 billion.

Forbes places the Raiders valuation at $970 million, a far cry from the Dallas Cowboys at $3.2 billion.

The Raiders have long been the ugly sibling of the Bay Area NFL market.

Over the last 22 years, Oakland’s made the playoffs just three times. The San Francisco 49ers have made 10 appearances during the same stretch and won a Super Bowl.

Relocating the Raiders to Las Vegas would likely add substantial value to Davis’ organization.

Waiting on a Verdict

The initial location of the stadium was a 42-acre site located at Koval Lane and Tropicana Avenue next to McCarran International Airport. But Southwest Airlines, the largest air operator in Las Vegas, opposed the concept and cited safety concerns.

During a presentation to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee on July 11, Adelson’s team revealed eight other possible locations for the stadium. One potential site is the Wynn Golf Club.

The committee has until July 28 to make its recommendation to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) on whether it thinks the stadium should be approved The committee is expected to motion for a deadline extension.

The primary issue facing the committee is deciding if hotel occupancy taxes should be used to help build the facility. Opponents believe the tax money could be better utilized by renovating the city’s main convention center.