A’s One Step Closer To Las Vegas After Gov. Signs Bill For Stadium Funding

Written By Marc Meltzer on June 20, 2023
Home Plate with Baseball and Oakland A's Logo

Last week Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo signed SB1, a bill that will generate a financing package from the Silver State for up to $380 million to help fund a Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium if the Oakland A’s move to Las Vegas. The A’s will be responsible to pay the rest of the cost to build the $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat baseball stadium.

The Senate and Assembly both passed the bill during a weeklong legislative special session. Once the bill passed through both chambers, Governor Lombardo signed off on the deal that could lead to the A’s moving to Las Vegas.

In a statement posted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week, Governor Lombardo said:

“This is an incredible opportunity to bring the A’s to Nevada, and this legislation reflects months of negotiations between the team, the state, the county, and the league. Las Vegas’ position as a global sports destination is only growing, and Major League Baseball is another tremendous asset for the city.”

The bill gives the A’s up to $180 million in transferable tax credits. While these are intended for the A’s to use the team could sell the tax credits for money.

Clark County will issue approximately $120 million in bonds. The county will also issue a $25 million credit for infrastructure around the stadium.

Next steps for the Oakland A’s

Nevada’s financial support to help the A’s build a stadium was just a part of the team’s efforts to move to Las Vegas. There’s no official timeline for how quickly any of the next steps will take.

The potential move will continue to drag on with more news slowly trickling out.

John Fisher, owner of the Oakland A’s, must secure $1.1 billion in financing to pay for the remaining expense to build the stadium.

While the A’s move has been discussed for two years, the team still has some work to do. The team can now officially submit a relocation application to MLB. A move requires the approval of 75% of the teams in MLB.

Lastly, the A’s will come to a few agreements with Nevada to move into the new stadium. The team will have to sign a lease for the stadium.

There will also be a non-relocation agreement so the team doesn’t leave Las Vegas shortly afterward. Additionally, part of SB1 receiving approval was that the team said it will offer benefits to the local community. Specifics still have to be detailed.

All of this must be done before the year is over so construction can begin on the stadium. If all goes as planned, the A’s will be able to start play in a new Las Vegas stadium on land where the Tropicana currently operates in 2028.

Where will the A’s play until 2028?

The A’s are planning to remain in Oakland until the lease expires at the end of the 2024 MLB season. After next season, the plan for where the team will play until the Las Vegas stadium is ready is up in the air.

There are numerous potential tentative homes for the A’s to play home games for the 2025, 2026, and 2027 seasons.

If the A’s want to lay down roots in Las Vegas the team could play in Summerlin. The team already has a deal in place with Las Vegas Ballpark, across from Red Rock Casino, should they want to play in the 10,000-capacity stadium.

The team would have to make some changes to the stadium in order to make this move. Las Vegas is currently home to the A’s minor league affiliate Aviators.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal says the team could play home games in Reno, Sacramento, or elsewhere in the Bay Area. Playing in Reno or Sacramento would also have the A’s playing in minor league stadiums.

Tropicana Las Vegas plans are up in the air

The Las Vegas stadium for the A’s will be built on nine of 35 acres of land where the Tropicana currently operates. Now that the stadium site is secured, Bally’s will have to come up with a redevelopment plan for the remaining land and property.

Bally’s will redevelop the remaining 29 acres of land where the Tropicana Hotel and Casino operate. Soo Kim, chairman of Bally’s Corp., told KTNV that it could be as long as two years before any work begins on the Tropicana.

He also said that the property could remain open after construction begins on the baseball stadium. There are plans to have a hotel and casino on the site of the Tropicana.

Kim also said there could be a separate sports-themed attraction as part of the redevelopment of the land. He said:

“Things can still morph around, but we could build around that, perhaps create a memorabilia museum. Bally’s is a brand that’s associated with sports and entertainment, nationally.”

The speed of the A’s move and redevelopment of the property will give fans of Las Vegas history some time to see Tropicana as they remember it.

Photo by PlayUSA
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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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