The ongoing saga as to the location of the Oakland A’s long term home continues.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has said that he is not optimistic that the Howard Terminal Project will come to be despite all the progress that had been made. As it is, he had already considered waiving the relocation fee for the A’s to move, with Las Vegas as the preferred destination. Considering that the power structure in Oakland is changing with the new year, it is fair to wonder how accurate Manfred will prove to be.
Las Vegas has Oakland A’s where they want them
This shifts the dynamic in the A’s discussions with Las Vegas. As pointed out by Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the league wants public money from Las Vegas in order to move the A’s to the city. If that does not happen, relocation talks could begin with other cities.
Graney further opined that this would actually be in the city’s best interest. And he is absolutely correct. If Las Vegas is going to add a Major League Baseball franchise, it may be preferable to have an expansion team instead of the A’s. Their history of repetitive teardowns and the questionable priorities of ownership makes any investment into the team a risky proposition.
As it is, A’s president Dave Kaval is saying all the right things as John Fisher’s mouthpiece. He claims that ownership will invest in the team once a new ballpark comes to pass and the A’s have that revenue. It is also worth noting that the Marlins said the same thing, spent in 2012, and then dismantled the roster immediately after.
If Las Vegas is going to provide funding for a new stadium and to have the A’s relocate, they will need assurances that they will not repeat the Marlins’ actions. Or maybe they will request an assurance that Fisher will bring in local ownership.
What is clear is that the A’s are running out of time. The Howard Terminal Project is in limbo with the next regime coming in, talks may need to begin once again. The A’s could consider Las Vegas a more viable option than they had previously. If that is the case, the city needs to get some assurances from the A’s, preferably in writing, that they will actually invest in the roster. Otherwise, good luck.
The Oakland A’s need to find a home in the very near future. If the Howard Terminal Project is stalled, Las Vegas has the A’s right where they want them.