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A’s Release New Las Vegas Baseball Stadium Renderings

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 7, 2024
Oakland A's New Las Vegas Stadium Rendering

On Tuesday, the Oakland A’s, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and HNTB released new renderings for a Vegas Strip baseball stadium should the team move to Las Vegas. BIG is the design lead for the stadium. HNTB is the sports/hospitality designer and architect of record.

The new images of the potential A’s stadium come just over three months after they were supposed to be released in Dec. 2023. The A’s are still planning to build a stadium on the site of the Tropicana.

The iconic Tropicana casino plans to close its doors for good on April 2. Once the casino is closed it will be destroyed to make room for construction on the baseball stadium.

Bally’s has not revealed plans for a new casino and hotel on the site of the Tropicana. Perhaps that’s why it isn’t shown in the current A’s stadium renderings.

Stadium’s new roof changes everything

The A’s stadium designers have slightly changed course from what was originally planned. The current version of the stadium will seat 33,000 instead of the 35,000 originally planned.

This version of the baseball stadium is slated to occupy nine of the 35 acres currently being used by the casino and hotel. That may be why the stadium design is now a fixed dome instead of the retractable roof originally planned.

The mechanics needed to operate a moving roof would have taken up too much space on such a small plot of land.  A’s owner John Fisher told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the retractable roof was ditched since it wouldn’t be open much due to the hot summer weather.

Bjarke Ingels of BIG describes the A’s stadium’s new roof as: “Five pennant arches enclose the ballpark – shading from the Nevada sun while opening to the soft daylight from the north.”

While the roof offers shade, there’s a large window that looks out to the Vegas Strip and beyond. He says direct sunlight will be blocked despite the stadium facing northwest towards New York-New York. Perhaps the angle north will just allow what he calls “soft daylight” into the stadium.

New A’s stadium in Las Vegas is a ‘spherical armadillo’

Between the roof pieces and large window facing out Ingles refers to the stadium as a “Spherical Armadillo.” Ingles describes the overall design:

“In the city of spectacle, the A’s ‘armadillo’ is designed for passive shading and natural light – the architectural response to the Nevada climate generating a new kind of vernacular icon in Vegas.”

For what it’s worth, the Armadillo isn’t native to Nevada like the Vegas Golden Knights mascot Chance the Gila Monster.

On a related note, social media seems to think the new stadium resembles the beautiful Sydney Opera House in Australia. This term was trending yesterday in Las Vegas on X.

Frankly, a baseball stadium themed for a landmark elsewhere in the world would be a throwback to Las Vegas casino designs from the late 1900s. It would fit in nicely across from the Statue of Liberty at New York-New York and the Sphinx at Luxor across the street.

Other stadium features

Construction renderings are rarely exact replicas of what will be built. The renderings for Stadium Swim at Circa are the last set of large-scale pre-construction visuals I can recall being entirely accurate.

The current plans for the A’s Las Vegas stadium include an 18,000-square-foot jumbotron. This would be the largest in MLB if the stadium were to open today.

Renderings are just approximations of what the builders are planning. Based on the visuals available, this scoreboard would point downward on a curved roof above the right seats. This might be difficult for some fans on the fans to see without craning their neck.

The team says the tiered seating design should do two things. First, it would create unobstructed views. Second, it would bring fans closer to the action on the field.

Left-field upper-tier seating in the renderings appears to be set back from the lower bowl seats. This appears to make those seats farther back from the action rather than closer.

Nitpicking aside, the concepts if executed properly could make for a great stadium experience.

Las Vegas A’s stadium will have limited on-site parking

Parking has never been a priority for the A’s since deciding to build a baseball stadium on the Vegas Strip. Space is limited since the team only has nine acres to work with.

The current plan calls for 2,500 on-site parking spaces. Consider these pricey VIP parking spaces. Most visitors driving to the stadium would likely park at nearby MGM Resorts properties:

  • Excalibur
  • Luxor
  • Mandalay Bay
  • MGM Grand
  • New York-New York
  • Park MGM

When asked about the stadium, MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle said:

The innovative design of the Athletics’ ballpark will make it a welcome addition to an already vibrant and
evolving end of the Las Vegas Strip. We look forward to welcoming our new neighbors and all of the fans
they will attract to our destination.

Throughout this process, the team has been planning to work with Clark County on creating a traffic and transportation plan that would include easier access to the stadium by bus.

The parking plan could change should Bally’s (NYSE: BALY) and land owner Gaming & Leisure Properties (GLPI) decide the rest of the property needs parking. For example, there could be a shared plaza as part of the overall project design. Additionally, hotel and casino guests would need somewhere to park.

A’s are still targeting a 2028 opening in Las Vegas

According to the statement about the new renderings, the A’s expect to open the stadium in 2028. This is the first time the A’s have made a public statement about moving to Las Vegas in 2024.

Not much has been happening publicly since Nov. 2023 when the A’s received approval from Major League Baseball to move to Las Vegas.

Bally’s has also been quiet about its plans for the land after demolishing the Tropicana. During a recent earnings call, Bally’s President George Papanier said the casino operator continues to evaluate its options.

During a meeting with the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday, Bally’s Executive Vice President And Chief Financial Officer Marcus Glover said the company would hand over land to the A’s in April 2025 to begin construction.

There’s still a lot of work to do at the current site of the Tropicana. Stay tuned as the years-long drama about the A’s possibly moving to Las Vegas continues.

Photo by Oakland A’s / Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) / HNTB
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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