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Adelson spokesman accuses Raiders of trying to pick pockets

President Donald Trump Attends Inaugural Luncheon

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Republican donor Sheldon Adelson attends the Inaugural Luncheon in the US Capitol January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump is attending the luncheon along with other dignitaries after being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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It remains unclear whether the Raiders will be moving to Las Vegas. It’s very clear that hard feelings persist between the Raiders and their former partner in the stadium project.

“[Adelson] was willing to share revenues and make it financially mutually beneficial, but they were picking his pocket,” Adelson family spokesman Andy Abboud told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I think that they felt they were asking to be entitled to revenue streams and things that simply made the deal unworkable. It was never about the financial return for the Adelsons, but the Adelson family wasn’t going to have their pocket picked, by the Raiders or by the NFL or anybody.”

The deal between the Raiders and Adelson bogged down over issues including, as explained by the Review-Journal, “stadium naming rights, sponsorships, revenue from stadium contractors, parking, signage and use by UNLV.”

“All those things were negotiable, and then even when we got to the point that we thought we had a deal, they’d change their minds again,” Abboud said. “And we negotiate deals every day all over the world. The Adelson family has made a lot of people rich in the world. This is a family that negotiates with everyone from Barney’s to Emeril Lagasse and deals with the governments of Singapore and China. They know when to be reasonable and how to cut a deal.”

That’s not what PFT was hearing during the negotiations from sources not connected to either party. The consistent theme was that Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the Sands casino, was driving too of a hard bargain at every turn, on every term.

For now, neither side has provided any details regarding the specific terms on which the two sides squabbled. It’s impossible to assign blame to either party (or both of them) without knowing what the Raiders and what Adelson wanted.

For now, all we know is that it all fell apart -- and that it seems to be something more than posturing in an effort to eventually do a deal. It now seems clear that the relationship between the Raiders and Adelson has cratered. Barring a dramatic change of heart by either side (specifically by the Raiders if they can’t otherwise put the deal together), the Raiders and Adelson won’t ever be doing business.

The question is whether the Raiders or Adelson will be in the Las Vegas NFL business. While some have suggested that Adelson will torpedo the Raiders’ ongoing effort to get to Las Vegas out of spite, it’s clear that Adelson still wants to build an NFL stadium and attract a team to town.

Which means that, eventually, a team other than the Raiders could be making the move to Las Vegas. Which in turn fits with the idea that Las Vegas will become the new Los Angeles, serving as the or-else option for teams that need public money to build or renovate stadiums in other markets.