The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported today (April 8) that the Oakland Raiders could play pre-season games and maybe a regular-season game in Vegas if a deal is finalized for a new domed stadium near the Strip. The games would be played in Sam Boyd Stadium, which only seats 35,500, and would not be a permanent home for the Raiders, who haven't been able to swing a fat subsidy from Oakland.
The paper quoted "multiple sources." There is a problem, though. The Review-Journal is owned by the family of multibillionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is trying to squeeze $780 million from taxpayers for a large, pro-style stadium.
Adelson "has previously thought nothing of arm-twisting his newspaper employees to write what he wanted about his personal business dealings," says Neil deMause of the fieldofschemes.com website.
According to Forbes magazine, Adelson is worth $27.5 billion, which raises questions about how urgently he needs to beg taxpayers for a subsidy.
Late last year, Adelson's publicist became San Diego's Mark Fabiani, who also generates fanfare for the Chargers. I sent an email to Fabiani about the credibility of the Review-Journal report but have not heard anything.
Some National Football League owners are said to oppose having a team in Vegas because they reportedly want to keep the game distant from gambling. This is a joke, because the National Football League was launched by organized-crime-connected gamblers, and the league's close connection to gambling continues to this day.