Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has officially signed a bill into law that paves the way for the Oakland A's potential move to Las Vegas.
The legislation will authorize $380 million in public funds to construct a $1.5 billion retractable-roof baseball stadium for the Athletics on the Las Vegas Strip.
This development is the result of extensive negotiations involving the team, state authorities, the county, and the league. Labeled a "thriving global sports destination," by all interested parties, Las Vegas will welcome Major League Baseball for the first time in the history of the city as soon as next season or 2025, when the A's deal to play at the Oakland Coliseum will expire forcing them to play in their Triple-A affiliate team in LV.
The proposed stadium, with an expected capacity of 30,000 spectators, is planned for the current location of the Tropicana Las Vegas resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The existing structure will be demolished to make room for the new ballpark, which would become the smallest stadium in the MLB in a very Oakland A's move.
Situated near the T-Mobile Arena and Allegiant Stadium, which is home to the NFL's Raiders (which, how surprising, also moved from Oakland to Las Vegas a few years ago), the new baseball stadium would aim to enhance the entertainment landscape of a city already overloaded with such options.
The relocation still requires approval from Major League Baseball owners. The A's current lease in the Bay Area remains valid until the end of 2024, and in the interim, the team will play their games at a Triple-A affiliate's stadium in Las Vegas.
In response to this significant development, the A's expressed their gratitude to Governor Lombardo, legislative leaders, Clark County Commissioners, and their staff for their collaborative efforts and support. The team plans to commence the relocation process with MLB and looks forward to contributing to Southern Nevada's professional sports scene, job creation, economic development, and overall quality of life as a Major League Baseball franchise. Or so Dave Kaval and John Fisher said...
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged the lack of progress in securing a viable stadium plan in the city of Oakland by the A's, while also "feeling sorry" about the A's fans and their loss.
Manfred emphasized the need for community support and highlighted the absence of a concrete offer from Oakland, blatantly blaming the relocation on the Bay Area showing a straight face. Obviously, the retaliation from the town took no time to come Manfred's way.
A spokesperson for Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao disputed Manfred's claims, stating that there was indeed a specific proposal under discussion and that Oakland had made considerable efforts to overcome obstacles, including securing funding and addressing environmental concerns.
As the A's journey toward their potential relocation continues, the decision ultimately rests with Major League Baseball and its owners, which is to say the A's are 99.9% gone from Oakland because the commish and the owners have a lot of interest put in this move and they won't just ditch this extraordinary chance of pulling it off and uprooting the A's from Oakland once and for all.
Las Vegas, with its expanding sports landscape, eagerly awaits the opportunity to welcome the Athletics and solidify its status as a premier sports destination. Or perhaps, instead of Las Vegas, we should just say J-Lomb, J-Fish, D-Kav, and their acolytes.