ONN – Raiders Las Vegas Stadium: Jedi Rich, Jedi Joy Send Confusing Information
The latest news surrounding Las Vegas Stadium for the Oakland Raiders and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is as real as it’s unbelievable. First, it starts with a story that comes from them to me, and is strange. Second, then, it gets weirder.
It’s a lot like Alice and Wonderland, or perhaps I should say “Adam”, and where I feel like I was invited to a garden party, then saw a white rabbit, who encouraged me to follow it down this hole, only to meet the Mad Hatter. Only, in this story, the Mad Hatter is not a friend, after first presenting itself as one.
According to Richard and Joy Lightower, also known as “Jedi Rich and Jedi Joy” construction workers at Las Vegas Stadium have told them directly that one-third of the canopy trusses that were already placed in their areas of the structure were done so with elements in them upside down.
Richard and Joy Lightower sent a text to me about a half hour ago to the point of this writing, or about 12:36 AM EST. They are working on their own video, but gave me the go-ahead to post the information early. This is the full text that I was sent:
1/3 of the Trusses are built with pieces that were installed upside down. We got this straight from the iron workers. Since the pieces were installed upside down, they ended up being off when they got to the one truss. It was off by 8 inches. Now the entire design is flawed. They are scrounging to fix this error. They have guys day and night trying to reassemble the trusses together probably. They are beyond off schedule. This is potentially a deal ender. We will see what solutions they come out to the public with. Feel free to post any of this on your blog now. The news is going out. Video still to come!! —
As to the full construction story, the Las Vegas Stadium canopy trusses are designed to be the support for the Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (EFTE) roof. At the time of this writing, an estimated 18 of the 26 canopy trusses were in place. But, there were reported problems, first with one truss that was installed incorrectly and had to be removed and then replaced on Sunday, Father’s Day, of last week.
As it turned out, again according to Richard and Joy Lightower via text, the Las Vegas Stadium construction workers were tasked not only to replace the truss that was installed incorrectly, but because the other truss segments were put in place with “pieces that were installed upside down” to quote what Richard and Joy Lightower said in the text, that error resulted in the truss that was put in, but then taken down two weeks ago now, and then re-installed back in place.
The Las Vegas Bloggers also just explained to me (again, via text) that the workers were tasked with trying to correct this error, allegedly, outside of the knowledge of the public.
In other words, they’re accusing the Oakland Raiders and The Las Vegas Stadium Authority of a cover-up.
That’s a risky accusation.
Then Richard And Joy Lightower Texts Take A Weird Turn For The Strange
So, just as I’m writing this, and taking them seriously as I have, the whole text message changes.
I asked them when they first got this information:
The answer I got back was “June 14th” . So I asked why they sat on the information for so long, since this is June 22nd. What I got back via text was shocking. It was as if I was texting with two different people, and with completely different agendas.
The Mad Hatter.
“Zennie. It’s my story. I break it when I want. Do you understand?
I said No. And for good reason: the claim that the trusses were with, as it was put “pieces that were installed upside down,” and in a text to me, is very damaging, if true. I really struggled to believe this happened, but elected to give them the benefit of the doubt.
When I asked when they got the information, and then waited for the reason why after the answer “June 14th” came up, I was surprised at the response and because there are very sound reasons why one can elect to delay releasing a story.
For example, my friend Rick DeVechio, of the San Francisco Chronicle during the 90s, would routinely “sit” on a story for months, or until he had information he needed from a particular source or sources. As the then Economic Advisor To The Mayor of Oakland, and from 1995 to 2001, I was one of his sources. So, if Richard and Joy Lightower had said “Well, we were waiting for more confirmation before we released the video,” that’s cool and completely understood.
But that’s not what was texted to me.
Instead it was this:
“Zennie. It’s my story. I break it when I want. Do you understand?
And consider the earlier text that was sent to me:
“We will see what solutions they come out to the public with. Feel free to post any of this on your blog now. The news is going out. Video still to come!!”
Wow! Holy double-message, BatMan!
Additionally, remember that Jedi Rich’s text to me encouraged me to blog about their story, which, if you think about it, is exactly what I am doing.
But Jedi Joy later chiming in with an opposite text is really most confusing and scary. As I wrote in my text back, I’m very confused with what they’re trying to do. I will say it’s a dangerous game they’re playing with the Oakland Raiders and Don Webb.
That said, to also think that I am in some way “taking” Jedi Rich and Jedi Joy’s story, even as I’m telling their story, is fantasy. And that’s putting it kindly.
I explained that they have zero idea what they’re doing. Getting that wrong is as hurtful as the story being right.
In the middle of the text, it seemed that it changed from Jedi Rich, who contacted me, to Jedi Joy. And she started to say that someone said this, and that and they should not work with me, and blah, blah.
Then Joy texts that I contacted them this evening, when most certainly I did not, and then sends me an old text from days ago, when I invited them to come on my livestream show. I said that was not the text from this evening.
The whole exchange is so completely crazy and (there’s that word again) scary that it could only be one more attempt by someone who paid them, I would guess, to throw me off the trail.
Whatever. I elected to cut ties and contact with them – something reads real dangerous. To go from really friendly and sharing to really mean and insulting in the space of a text segment would scare anyone.
Hopefully, The Raiders Get This Straightened Out, If It’s True. I Have My Doubts About The Story
Hopefully, for the Oakland Raiders, this is not true. If Jedi Rich and Jedi Joy don’t have any worker, who’s known, on the record to say this, to really go on camera, then its not something that’s going to fly. They need to get real sources and documents and people going on camera for what they’re claiming.
Jedi Rich and Jedi Joy are playing with politicians and developers who can control the flow of information. When I approach an issue, I make sure my math and documents are correct. What Jedi Rich and Jedi Joy are doing counts on some workers actually going on the record to talk about the problem. Otherwise, the Raiders and the Las Vegas Stadium Authority can make their effort look bad.
As for my work, I’ve been correct about the following Las Vegas Stadium Authority-related matters:
1) The bond debt coverage ratio of 1.5 to 1 being not a standard practice for a municipal bond – it should be 2 to 1.
2) That it’s very unusual for the NFL to not award a Super Bowl to a city and NFL team for a period two or three years after it’s scheduled opening. In the case of the Raiders, that’s supposed to be 2020 – but the NFL filled Super Bowl Host City slots for all years up to 2024. And there’s no guarantee 2025 will be there for the Raiders, either. That points to a problem.
3) The Clark County stadium hotel tax revenue being less than what the Southern Nevada Tourism and Infrastructure Commission (SNTIC) forecasted in 2016.
4) The reduction in Las Vegas Visitor rates and forecasting that they would be a drag on monthly Clark County stadium hotel tax revenue.
5) That the Clark County stadium hotel tax revenue is not enough to cover the bond debt times the debt coverage ratio.
6) That the Las Vegas Stadium Guaranteed Maximum Price was $1.64 billion, and not $1.8 billion, as the rest of the media claimed.
7) That the Oakland Raiders are behind in signing up what are called “founding partner” sponsorships at a point in time where they expect the Las Vegas Stadium to be opened in just over a year. By this point in time, The Atlanta Falcons had secured eight founding partners, and then corralled Mercedes Benz for the naming rights.
There are people who don’t want the correct information out there, and yet, don’t understand the complexity of the stadium financing or construction of this giant NFL Stadium.
Jedi Rich and Jedi Joy are playing with fire. But I refuse to play this stupid media war.
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