Commissioner confirms Oakland A's focusing on move to Vegas

Feb 16, 2023; Dunedin, FL, USA; Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media
Feb 16, 2023; Dunedin, FL, USA; Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that John Fisher, owner of the Oakland A’s, has shifted his focus to relocating to Las Vegas. Manfred stopped short of saying that the A’s have given up on a new Oakland stadium completely.

When asked about the status of a potential stadium site at Howard Terminal in Oakland, Manfred brought up ongoing issues surrounding the potential deal. 

"I don’t think they are in agreement on the affordable housing issue. The threshold issue right now I think in Oakland is how to handle the funding for the infrastructure."

Commissioner Rob Manfred

After previous reports that the A’s had narrowed down their search in Vegas to Tropicana on the Strip, the organization told FOX5 of Las Vegas on Friday that a potential stadium site at Rio has come into the picture.

"The A’s are exploring the Rio site as a potential ballpark location"

Oakland A's spokeswoman

Court battles surrounding the proposed waterfront Howard Terminal stadium site may have had an impact on the shift in focus for the A’s. The A’s have been arguing in court for an environmental report on the potential site to be approved so that the project could continue. The court deeming the report insufficient could be a major setback for a new stadium in Oakland. 

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has met with the organization since being inaugurated earlier this year. He has been reported to not be in-favor of any tax increases to fund a new ballpark project in Las Vegas, but may be willing to utilize existing public funding sources to bring the A’s to the state. Commissioner Manfred has already waived any relocation fees should the A’s move to Vegas.

The A’s lease for the Oakland Coliseum expires after the 2024 season. Any stadium deal would need to be made quickly for the A’s to play at a new stadium in 2025.