Adelson lieutenant: Half of stadium will be financed by public, lawmakers will approve in August

Sounding as if it is a fait accompli, Las Vegas Sands operative Andy Abboud said Thursday the public will kick in for half of a new stadium to host the Raiders, and the Legislature will have a special session in August to approve it.

"We think we will have a piece of legislation actually written next month, then we will then go into a special session of the Nevada Legislature the first week of August, and have this financing approved the first week of August," Abboud said on an Omaha, NE, radio program. "That will be contingent upon the NFL owners approving."

Perhaps Abboud should have consulted the governor before he presented his Done Deal Scenario: Brian Sandoval will be on a trade mission to Australia that week. (Maybe Gondolier Numero Uno Sheldon Adelson doesn't think he needs Sandoval, and Acting Gov. Mark Hutchison can handle the rubber-stamping duties.)

Earlier in the show, Abboud told the hosts the stadium "probably be half publicly and half privately funded," which is not much of a change from the current proposal where room taxes are expected to pay for $750 million of a $1.4 billion endeavor. A proposed tax increment district around the proposed stadium also would allow the Sands and its partners, including Majestic Realty, to recoup much of their investment. 

Abboud said that Sheldon Adelson would assume the risk if revenues fell short or costs grew. He also said that two locations are now being considered -- one behind the MGM Grand and one where the Riviera once stood. The venue also would host UNLV football, he said.

Abboud's comments come before the Southern Nevada Infrastructure Tourism Committee, which meets next month, has presented an alternative to the original proposal. And it assumes that Sandoval, who has voiced support for the idea, will call lawmakers into session (or with a two-thirds vote they can call themselves). And it assumes the Gang of 63 will rubber-stamp giving two billionaires (Majestic is owned by California developer Ed Roski) $700 million a few months before an election and a year and a half after they approved the largest tax increase in history.

Adelson and the stadium backers have portrayed the public money component as "tourist dollars," but it's also true that money could be used for other purposes. Stadium deals have drawn much criticism for not providing the promised economic benefits, and there is even a book about it.

Of course, Abboud and his boss have reason to be confident that the governor and the Gang of 63 will make their dreams come true. After all, the real field of schemes is in Carson City, NV.