Fontainebleau Sale, Stadium Location, Raiders News and Every Damn Rumor We Could Squeeze Into One Cluster of a Story

The rumor mill is on tilt this week in Las Vegas, and we’ve wrangled some of the juiciest tidbits to share in a completely irresponsible fashion, because that’s how we drunk blog, baby.

Here’s how it falls out.

For starters, the Fertitta brothers (also referred to as Lorenzo and Frank), sold the UFC for $4 billion. Not too shabby for a $2 million investment back in 2001.

The sale of the UFC has resulted in the Fertitta brothers moving from bajillionaire status to multi-bajillionaire status. It’s a great gig if you can get it.

To be more specific, Forbes says the Fertitta brothers are worth a combined $3.2 billion. That’s not Sheldon Adelson money, but it’ll do in a pinch. Since the UFC sale, each brother’s wealth has climbed to $2.4 billion each.

Million billion

In case you’re keeping score, a billion is a thousand millions.

And this may not even take into account the bajillions the Fertitta brothers made when their Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (a/k/a Stations Casinos) went public. Each of the brothers is believed to have received more than $110 million for that little transaction.

So, what is one to do with all these billions? Make more billions, of course!

Here’s what we hear. (From someone who spoke to an actual Fertitta, by the way. Not from the primary Fertittas, but someone in the gene pool.)

The Fertitta brothers are going to purchase all or part of the Las Vegas Raiders. Yes, the Raiders are coming to Las Vegas, despite our best efforts.

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the whole Raiders drama, the current owner of the Raiders has said he’s willing to move the team if Las Vegas can pony up with a stadium. A surprising number of NFL team owners are now onboard with having a team in Las Vegas, despite years of resistance related to concerns about people (GASP!) gambling on sports.

Roughly 10 potential locations for a new stadium have been floated, but only one is going to win, and that location is…

Wait for it.

The 100-acres in and around the Wild Wild West casino. The Wild Wild West casino is about a half-mile west of the I-15, close enough to The Strip to be a viable location, without many of the headaches (including traffic and parking) associated with the T-Mobile Arena.

Wild Wild West

We once frequented the Wild Wild West casino, but close down your craps table and you’re dead to us.

The Wild Wild West site is owned by the aforementioned Fertitta brothers and their Red Rock Resorts Inc. Even people who know what they’re talking about agree the Wild Wild West space is the leading contender for the new 65,000-seat domed football stadium.

The stadium would probably be a public-private partnership between the Fertittas (Stations Casinos), Las Vegas Sands Inc., Majestic Realty and the Raiders (no matter who owns it when the deal is inked).

Yes, there are still lots of financial wrinkles to be hammered out. Cost estimates for the stadium have risen to $2.1 billion, with about $750 million in public funding needed. The “public funding” would presumably come from a room tax.

We are not personally interested in the “details” or “facts” surrounding this whole Raiders thing. We are more interested in another spectacular rumor we’re starting right this very minute.

Because from what we understand, it’s those very same Fertitta brothers who are the mysterious buyers of the (wait for it, again) Fontainebleau hotel!

Fontainebleau

Long story.

Look, they’re not going to want to pay taxes on that $4 billion, so what better way to re-invest in grabbing the abandoned Fontainebleau hotel for $750 million, then plowing another $1.2 billion into the project to get it opened as the first Station casino on The Strip. (Palms was close, but it’s not The Strip.)

We checked with a source at the real estate company handling the Fontainebleau and our theory was nixed: Station has denied “having any interest in the Fontainebleau.” That’ll teach us to drunk post.

Other than that, is all this the ramblings of an intoxicated Las Vegas blog? Probably. But if you can find holes in any part of this delicious web of unsubstantiated rumors, we’d love to have you poke them. Or something.

Let’s hear your version of how all this unfolds. Especially if you agree with us. If not, keep it to yourself.

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  • FYMYAWF

    Geez. If the Fontainebleau rumor is true the Stations brand is looking to make a big move. Palms and now this?

    I guess my question is how would this make business sense? The north strip is dead; SLS is barely alive and Resorts World looks like pie in the sky. Lucky Dragon is going to be niche boutique at best. Don’t get me started on the Strat. The FB would have to be something special and a half to get people to make the trek up past Wynncore, and frankly I don’t see the budget Stations brand shelling out for “special”.

    Then again you might well just be drunk. In which case, NM.

  • You get the feeling that these North Strip project are all waiting for each other to start making some progress before committing themselves, leaving the area in a stalemate. Hopefully once the convention center starts to build over the Riviera land that’ll kickstart the other projects.

    As for the Fertittas, if they have enough control of the Raiders that they can funnel the hotel room demand from the visiting teams/fans into the properties they own then that alone makes it worthwhile to buy the FB.

  • Photoncounter

    Why put the stadium on Tropicana where the best hotel in the area is the Orleans is mind boggling. Will Clark County provide any Human Services to the B rated hookers, trannies and drug dealers servicing the truck stop when they are permanently displaced by this project? We need a commission to study this!

    Perhaps visiting teams can stay at Siegel suites or the Hampton inn?

    Just kidding! That area could use demolition and re-development. Lots more jobs too, particularly when and if there ever was a Super Bowl there!

    I don’t understand the fbleu buy, though. Best bet would be to implode it, put more Walgreens and CVS stores, maybe twenty, on the property. No matter how many there are on the strip they’re always busy so just put more! They’re like fly traps for tourists, but not as ugly as the blue monster.

    • David McKee

      Shortly before they jumped into the stadium discussion, the Fertittas told a Deutsche Bank analyst they were contemplating a hotel/casino/retail complex for the Wild Wild West site. Subtract the casino and add the fact that the Fertittas have 100 acres to UNLV’s 42 acres on East Tropicana, and Station could have plenty of room to build a hotel next to the stadium … and they’ve proven they can ‘do’ upscale out at Red Rock, so the package looks very viable. MGM’s willingnesss to scrap Rock in Rio for a percentage of the stadium is intriguing, too, although the Sahara/I-15 intersection isn’t much more appealing than Trop/I-15 … and you’re encroaching on a historic neighborhood, just a couple of blocks away.

      • Photoncounter

        I didn’t realize they had that much land! Hmmm.. Red Rock is better than many of the strip hotels in my opinion for several reasons. Now these guys are flush with dough from selling the UFC. The Trop area definitely needs development but the I-15/Dean Martin intersection is quite a bottleneck now and that would have to be re-engineered, maybe a tunnel? A hotel on the site would be essential as I doubt the players would want to mingle with the strip people.

        Very interesting. Wish it were a team with a better reputation and a real chance to win, though!

      • Thanks, David. Always appreciate hearing your insights!

      • Randall Brumfield

        You have a point, the fertittas can build a sports complex type stadium with hotels ,dining etc right on the same site as the stadium. Like a city center for the raiders. That’d be cool as hell

  • Mako10

    Dont understand why anyone would want the FB. Its just a bad location and an ugly behemoth. If anything they should tear the whole thing down and start over, but that money would be better spent elsewhere.

    What they should do is buy Alon (before Wynn buys it)…lets face it, Alon is never getting built. (Resorts World is also doubtful). They did a great job with Red Rock, so a new even higher end place than RR on the Strip would be great for their brand.

    • Jeff Broman

      It’s next to the Convention Center expansion. I think that is a good enough reason to buy it.

  • Bouldersteve

    I don’t think the Ferrita

  • Bouldersteve

    I don’t see the Ferrtittas buying the Raiders. Under current NFL rules they would have to sell their interest in Stations Casinos So if the Fontainebleau rumor is true than Raider deal ain’t happening.As for the Fontainebleau it could happen. Always wondered why Stations never had a hotel on the strip.. they have them everywhere else.Maybe they figure it’s a good time to expand out of the locals market.

  • Nick Bassoli

    So, for a non-locals and also non-american like me (italian), we can declare that air of renewel is pushing north strip outside the bad shape of the last 2 decades (maybe more…). I mean, after the exit of the recession, is the Strip moving on the North? Will it be possible in the future make a connection between strip and downtown that made a non-stip environment like thesouth strip is now?

    • NHBill603

      They are tearing down the tired old Rivera and replacing with a major expansion of the Convention Center. Buying the FB for dimes on the dollar and finishing it as a major strip resort casino is now a no brainer IF you have the financing. It will be a rising tide that will lift some boats in the neighborhood but Circus, Circus will probably have to go once the economics improve some more.

  • LasVegasDJPros

    So this is what I heard(from the creative voice inside my head). FB will be turned into Raiders Station. The Stations Stadium will be built on the World Resort site. There will be a six lane off and on ramp from the parking deck of the stadium onto the 15, there will also be a 4 lane ramp that goes directly into the Raiders Station 30 story parking deck, and also another 4 lane ramp going directly into the Palace Station garage and for the finale, wait for it, Prez Trump will build a gold plated HyperLoop from the Stadium to his Trump Tower instead of building “The Wall” and will still have Mexico pay for it.

    • Bouldersteve

      They could paint Fountainblu silver and black and rename it Raider Nation

  • happy hour 101

    Raiders: absolutely correct that the NFL will not allow gaming owners to also own a team. So Frank owns one and Lorenzo the other. Or vice versa. Huh?

    Fontainbleu: color me skeptical on Stations involvement but whoever buys the blue hulk–please please please tear down the part of the building above the silver band. There are many tens of millions of dollars in steel that could be sold to offset (maybe completely offset) the demo cost and the property has a much greater chance of being successful with 2,000 rooms rather than 5,000.

    Wild West site: aside from Trop at the 15 being the most congested ramps in the state, this makes sense. A hundred acres is plenty of room for the stadium, hotels, parking (expensive parking), and a huge entertainment district.

    • Randall Brumfield

      I believe everything east of trop/I 15 is congested, the west side of it isn’t bad at all. And ppl can get off of 215 from Decatur or jones and come the back way. If you look at the site with all the backstreet and sidestreets,it seems like a good spot traffic wise

  • NHBill603

    I don’t think the local public ante on the stadium will be anywhere near $750 million. That figure would make it the largest public contribution for a sports house in American history at a time when the stadium in LA is being 100% privately funded.
    My guess is the figure will wind up between $250M to $350M in the slight chance it gets built at all.
    I think the Raiders are bluffing and will not be the team that comes here.
    I’m not confident on LV becoming a huge pro sports franchise town.
    There just isn’t enough TV revenue in this broadcast desert for 21st Century sports franchises.

  • Rich Johnson

    One of the best pics I took in 2014 running the short-lived Inbound Vegas. Kinda says it all about the Wild Wild West.

    • Is that a hooker? ‘Cause many of them hang out in that area. Which would be perfect for Raiders fans.

  • Sean Pelley

    How/ why would Davis sell team. Plus the NFL are hypocrites, they wouldn’t even let Tony Romo have a stupid fantasy football convention in Las Vegas. But they will let Draft Kings beat us down during every commercial break before,during, and after the games.
    The Radiers would be my second team IF they could get to Vegas, but then to have casino owners buy the team. No way.

  • “But if you can find holes in any part of this delicious web of unsubstantiated rumors, we’d love to have you poke them.”

    Uh, ok…

    “…Forbes says the Fertitta brothers are worth a combined $3.2 billion. …each brother’s wealth has climbed to $2.4 billion each.”

    2.4 + 2.4 = 4.8 not 3.2 I think.

    • Brewfangrb

      Uh…

      It’s pretty evident the $3.2B is pre-UFC sale. The post-sale net worth accounts for the premium that was paid for UFC over its estimated value in Forbes’s net worth calculation.

  • Wally Marshall

    Fertittas totally scored. The buyers of the Fountain blu are a bunch of suckers or they have tons of cash to burn.