According to a series of tweets and an email from the author of the popular blog “Vital Vegas,” Frank Fertitta and Lorenzo Fertitta, known as the Fertitta Brothers, are interested in an NFL team – most likely, the Las Vegas-bound Oakland Raiders.
Vital Vegas’ Scott Roeben, told Zennie62Media that while what NFL team the Fertitta Brothers are interested in is rumor, what’s not is that the pair are inquiring about owning an NFL team.
Scott reports that the Fertitta Brothers (shown in the photo with their late father Frank Sr.) have talked to “the owner of the San Francisco 49ers” and are interested in a team in the Northeast or the Raiders.
What I take that to mean is the Fertitta Brothers are talking to owners of NFL teams, and perhaps about the political and financial details that come with working to buy an organization like the Raiders. That leads to this question: are the Raiders available?
Raiders Owner Mark Davis has taken on what everyone who understands sports financing agrees is a hard and heavy lift: there are problems with the Las Vegas Stadium deal, already. Most notably, the shortfall in stadium hotel tax revenue that goes to the Raiders in what’s called the “pay go” part of the plan. That’s where the Raiders collect the tax revenue and spend it on stadium construction – that money represents part of the total $750 million public subsidy.
The problem is, no one foresaw a shortfall in the pay go money – yet that’s what the Raiders are facing. Comparing what’s coming in versus what the Raiders and the attendees of the meetings of the Southern Nevada Tourism and Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) were told, shows a potential total revenue short fall of $20 million. Part of the reason for that problem is the perfect storm of a lower-than-should be tax rate and falling hotel visitor rates in Clark County.
That pay-go shortfall is outside the view of the bond underwriters, yet it impacts stadium construction: the Raiders have to find a way to close the debt.
And More Problems
The other problem is the Raiders have not been granted a Super Bowl, which normally is scheduled for two years after the stadium is opened. The Raiders have to wait until 2025, but then not even that year is guaranteed. That’s caused speculation from me that Las Vegas Stadium may not be ready by 2020.
There are other considerations, some personal, that could lead Mark Davis to sell the Raiders to the Fertitta Brothers.
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