By Alan Snel of LVSportsBiz.com
Not only did popular Raiders President Marc Badain walk away from the NFL team last month without previously hinting at a resignation, Brandon Doll, Raiders vice president of strategy and business development, also quit shortly after owner Marc Davis announced July 19 that Badain was leaving the organization after 30 years.
Other Raiders financial staffers to leave have been former Chief Financial Officer Ed Villanueva and former team controller Araxie Grant, according to the Sports Business Journal, which reported the Doll departure.
Badain may have had a dust-up with Davis and also have a juicy job up his sleeve in Las Vegas. Nobody is talking.
But the timing of having four upper business/finance execs leaving before the Raiders were to host fans at games at Allegiant Stadium is suspicious.
Badain’s departure July 19 came only four days after he spoke before the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board regarding traffic/parking issues at the stadium. Badain never mentioned anything at that meeting about leaving the Raiders.
“Marc did not say anything about leaving at the last Authority meeting, and there has been no concern raised to me by any board members relative to the administrative staff transitions. From staff’s perspective, everything appears to be in order and on track in terms of the Raiders obligations under the project documents,” said Jeremy Aguero, the stadium board’s consultant who guides the stadium authority on meetings and issues.
Davis, one of the more down-to-earth owners in the NFL, is typically open with the media at press announcements.
But it’s telling that Davis has not explained what happened to any media — national or local. His nothing-to-see-here attitude is actually drawing more attention than if he just explained why people left. The national NFL media is now writing about the Raiders, and not about the players like Derek Carr. The national media is speculating why Badain and company left.
By not saying what happened, the Badain saga will drag out and be a cloud over the Raiders having fans at a stadium that they built with $750 million in public money from Southern Nevada.
People were wondering today what’s going on with the Raiders. I can assure you nobody in the news was talking about the Raiders announcing Thursday that Pinkbox Doughnuts are the official doughnut partners of the NFL team.
The instability in the Raiders business front office is strange because the team generated hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue thanks to the new stadium and now rank 16th out of 32 NFL teams in team value, according to Forbes, which released its NFL team value rankings Thursday,
The Raiders stadium, subsidized with the biggest public contribution for an NFL stadium, drove up the team’s value thanks to the venue’s revenue streams of personal seat licenses ($550 million); stadium founding partner sponsors (more than $330 million) and more ticket revenue.
The Raiders practice at the stadium Sunday before season ticket holders and play the Seattle Seahawks Aug. 14 at the stadium.