According to a report from Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Oakland Athletics are rumored to be eyeing the Texas Rangers’ new ballpark as a potential blueprint for their new stadium in Nevada.
Globe Life Park was built in 2020 and cost the Rangers roughly $1.2 billion. It has a fully retractable roof and seats over 40,000.
It remains a mystery why the Athletics are looking at a retractable roof, rather than just a closed dome. Most estimates suggest that a retractable roof would add between $70-$140 million to the total cost of the project.
A retractable roof doesn't make sense for the new stadium
Per the AP News, the Rangers played 81 home games in 2023 and played with the roof open just 11 times. Average temperatures in the months of June, July, and August in Dallas are between 92-96 Fahrenheit. The average temperature in Las Vegas during those same months ranges from 102-107 Fahrenheit.
It’s unlikely that the roof at any Las Vegas stadium will be open more than 10 times per year, even for night games. It’s simply too hot in the summer in the desert. Adding upwards of $100 million for an amenity that will get such little use seems incredibly wasteful and short-sighted.
Some of the benefits of the Rangers stadium include versatility for non-baseball events and the openness of the space, allowing fans to move freely throughout the stadium and limiting congestion points that make events enjoyable for everyone.
The Athletics will surely be looking for a multi-use venue, considering that their plan to fill the seats includes a significant number of tourists for each home game. Adding a retractable roof may help with concerts and live events, but if the venue is only going to sit 30,000 as suggested, that limits the type of events that can be held there.
As an example, the new Raiders stadium seats 65,000 for football games, and expands to 72,000 for other events when necessary. The Athletics stadium won’t have the capacity to compete with the biggest shows in town, which seems half the point of building the venue in the first place.
It’s reasonable to assume that if a new stadium gets built for the Athletics in Las Vegas, it will have several amenities that the Coliseum site does not. Whether the team can fill the stadium consistently for baseball games is another discussion entirely.
At the end of the day though, the Athletics still have not released any updated ballpark renderings to the public. They've allegedly submitted ballpark and financing plans to the commissioner's office but fans should be smart enough to not trust anything that John Fisher says.