The Popcorn Stand: Hedging bets on the Raiders

So the Oakland-Los Angeles-Inglewood-Irwindale-San Antonio-Las Vegas Raiders are officially going to become the Las Vegas Raiders. I’ve wholeheartedly supported this move from the beginning without any reservations or skepticism whatsoever. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Actually my skepticism and mistrust of Raiders’ owner Mark Davis when it comes to the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas has been well-chronicled. Although I’ll be like most so-called experts when it comes to “hedging their bets.” Hedging your bets is a good policy when it comes to betting on games in Nevada, but for so-called experts it’s a way out when they predicted something would happen, but it didn’t, so they can always say “you know I did say before I had a feeling something like this would happen.”

So I’m hedging my bet now as it appears Nevada has dotted all of its Is and crossed all of its Ts when it comes to not being screwed over by the Raiders. Although if somehow this deal isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, the Raiders take the money and run and move to the next greener pasture, I’ll be the first one to say, “I told you so.”

I’m still a little queasy about the financing of the $1.9 billion Taj Mahal that’s being built for the Raiders in Las Vegas. Especially since the Raiders have proposed just to pay $1 a year in rent to play in the stadium. The Raiders did this because supposedly they were so confident in the financing.

And Bank of America has stepped forward with a $650 million loan, but it’s a loan. As I understand it, loans are to be paid back with interest, so I assume that will put the bill for the Raiders’ Taj Mahal to over $2 billion.

When I read the analysis of this deal, it goes from this is the “worst deal” for a city that’s ever been made in financing a stadium to it’s the best deal ever for a city in financing a stadium.

It seems everybody hedges their bets.

— Charles Whisnand


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