Las Vegas Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson wants to build a $1 billion domed stadium on the UNLV campus and is meeting with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, company officials confirmed Thursday. The Sands Corp. announced that it was lending its support behind a public-private partnership to build a 65,000-seat, domed stadium on a vacant 42 acres of land recently purchased by UNLV near the corner of Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane across from McCarran International Airport. Adelson has scheduled a Friday meeting in Las Vegas with Raiders owner Mark Davis. Sands spokesman Ron Reese didn’t elaborate on the nature of their discussions, and the Raiders declined to directly address the meeting.

UNLV president Len Jessup wrote in a confidential memo leaked earlier Thursday that representatives of the Raiders will be in Las Vegas on Friday to check out potential stadium sites. UNLV is looking for a new home for its football program, which has played at 35,500-seat Sam Boyd Stadium some nine miles from campus on the eastern edge of the city since 1971. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Los Angeles-based Majestic Realty Co. and UNLV are involved in the conceptual plans, and Las Vegas Sands senior vice president of government relations and community development Andy Abboud said the project would be a “public-private” partnership, with the Sands or the Adelson family contributing a large portion of the financing.

Davis has long stated that remaining in Oakland is his primary goal, but after being rebuffed in an attempt to move to Los Angeles and join the Chargers in a joint-stadium project in nearby Carson, the Raiders do not have a lease for a home stadium for the 2016 season. They do have the option to join the Rams in Inglewood should the Chargers decline. It is expected that the Raiders will play at least the 2016 season in Oakland. They also have been linked to San Diego, should the Chargers go to Los Angeles, for the following years as well as to San Antonio.

The NFL has had a hard-line against Las Vegas, and it is hard to see the league signing off on allowing a team to relocate to the gambling capital of the country. The NFL did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Las Vegas has chased a major league franchise for almost two decades, including MLB and NBA teams. The city appears close to getting an NHL team in under-construction T-Mobile Arena between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo casinos. The ambitious 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena, set to open in April, was privately funded by casino company MGM, a Las Vegas Sands competitor.

And while Las Vegas might be a relatively small media market at No. 41 nationally, it is bigger than four other current NFL markets in Jacksonville (No. 48), New Orleans (No. 51), Buffalo (No. 52) and Green Bay (No. 68), per last year’s Nielsen data. Support from Adelson, who has consistently ranked as one of the world’s richest people, could mean a better fate for the latest proposal. Even with that, it is possible that the Raiders are using Las Vegas as a scare tactic to get Oakland to finally subsidize a new stadium for them, seeing as how the city has not budged after San Diego and San Antonio were brought in as potential landing sites.

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