Oakland - Oakland Raiders Las Vegas Stadium Truss Problem Creates War Between Jedi Rich, Rick Velotta Of RJ
The reported "Oakland Raiders Las Vegas Stadium Truss Problem," where it was revealed first by Las Vegas vloggers "JediRich" and "Jedi Joy", has degenerated into a very sad and stupid media war between the couple and Rick Velotta, a reporter with the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Even though "JediRich" and "Jedi Joy" (real names Richard and Joy Lightower) broke the story that the construction crews had to take down and then replace one of 26 canopy truss segments that will make up the roof of the stadium. The work caused a delay of four days. In all, a news story that one would think the Las Vegas Review Journal would be interested in, and crediting the pair. Well, yes, and no.
Rather than credit "JediRich" and "Jedi Joy", for their work, the Las Vegas Review Journal, which is owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson, who's net worth is at $35.8 billion, went to call the Raiders construction boss Don Webb, who's not going to spin a story that looks bad.
But to make matters worse, the Review Journal's Rick Velotta took to Twitter to blast the pair as being wrong. This, then, reflects why traditional journalism is dying: another example of an old-style reporter trying to discredit a new media outlet. Now, thanks to his actions, "JediRich" and "Jedi Joy" are determined to make a mark in reporting on what they claim is really going on at Las Vegas Stadium.
"JediRich" and "Jedi Joy" say they have a video that, if what they've told me privately comes to pass, will be explosive. Indeed, it could result in some major changes, though I'm not at liberty to say how.
So, all of that started because Rick Velotta took up the task of flaming a media person rather than working with that person. I'm proud to say I had him on zennie62 on youtube, and tried to establish a friendly relationship with him. I regard Rick as an expert on Las Vegas and casino development, so having him on was an honor and a treat.
The problem is that, for some reason, the Las Vegas Review Journal is under the impression it understands stadium development more than anyone else, including me. That's even though I wrote and produced Oakland's bid to host the 2005 Super Bowl, and pre-designed the 12,000 extra seats for the Oakland Coliseum, then I personally hired Andersen Consulting team to make the plans for them. But, ah, details.
That disrespect has caused Rick and another reporter Mitch Akers to make some huge errors in trying to challenge me. For example, last year, I explained that the Las Vegas Stadium guaranteed maximum price was just north of $1.6 billion, and not $1.8 billion. On Twitter, both of them swore up and down it was $1.8 billion, and even had the nerve to say the Raiders told them that.
So, when they approached Don Webb with the question I gave them the answer to, the Oakland Raiders' Webb said it was $1.64 billion.
Rick is from the old school of not making oneself the focus of a story. But when he goes on Twitter or comes on my show on Zennie62 on YouTube, he does just that.
Then, there was the more recent and unfortunate episode where 872 Laborers Tommy White told Steve Wolford of news 3 Las Vegas that I was coming up with rumors about Las Vegas Stadium Steel, and something about it being "soft." That was not true, and thankfully, a news 3 Las Vegas editor called me to apologize and removed any mention of me out of the video and the text. But that didn't seem to mean a thing to Rick, who mentioned my Twitter handle and the bogus story that Steve Wolford told me they did "just to have some fun."
So, I blocked Rick Velotta from my Twitter account after that. Considering that I had him on my show, and really made a level effort to establish a friendship with him, I took his action personally. Between that, the Las Vegas Stadium Price issue, and many other acts of disrespect (like the stadium tax revenue problem I identified), I had enough. Rick Velotta could have called me (as he calls the Raiders) to get the truth and not repost a wrong story that news 3 Las Vegas could have been sued for. The news 3 Las Vegas editor told me that what Steve Wolford did was against their standards and practices.
Now, if I said Rick Velotta had an issue with me being black, he'd go up a tree, right? But then you have to ask, why treat someone who was kind to you like that?
Here's part of what "JediRich" and "Jedi Joy" said and wrote:
And then, this blog post, which is presented, in part:
Unfortunately for them, the Jedi noticed and we posted our video on youtube. Today, Rick Velotta from the Las Vegas Review Journal began an online smear campaign against the Jedi in an attempt to discredit our year and a half of hitting the streets and hard work.
"Bloggers who obsessed about this thought it was going to create massive delays obviously had no clue. Here’s a thought: Why don’t you call someone and ask? “
Well, Rick Velotta, if you really want to know what's going on, then may we suggest that you get off your ass and walk down to the stadium and talk to the disgruntled workers.
Rick, just so you know, having drinks with your highfalutin friends; on the union bosses dime; at the most expensive steak joints in town; does not count as true journalism.
Did you ever think that maybe someone is lying to you?
Anyways, Las Vegas needs a stadium. And if you aren’t going to do the work necessary to keep the bosses honest, then the Jedi...
Hey if the bosses weren’t in such a rush to get the trusses up after that snow debacle, then perhaps they wouldn’t be paying out the ass right now to catch up due to a costly, avoidable, mistake.
The Stadium Has A Series Of Problems Adding Up To What Will Be A Major Issue On April 1, 2020
Let's put it this, way, the real deadline the for Las Vegas Stadium Authority is April 1, 2020. That's not an April Fool Joke, but the day the Oakland Raiders have to tell the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority if they're going to extend their lease to play at the Oakland Coliseum, or not.
The Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority is watching all of these news items with major interest. So, the Raiders better get their Las Vegas Stadium act together, and fast, because they may find themselves without a home next year if Las Vegas Stadium's not ready, and yet they think it's going to be ready for the 2020 NFL Season, so they back out of a Coliseum lease extension.
Moreover, and this is coming from this author: the Raiders should forget stalling to have the Coliseum JPA wait for an answer past April 1, 2020. Try that stalling trick next the Raiders did this year, next year, and the Silver and Black will get booted from the Coliseum, lightening fast.
There are way too many Oakland elected and Alameda County elected officials who would love to kick the Raiders out of the Oakland Coliseum. That's a disagreeable way of handling things, but they're still chaffed at what they hold to be true: that the Oakland Raiders lied to them about the Las Vegas Relocation.
As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said to me in 2016, the Raider hold some of the blame for not having a stadium in Oakland.