A’s Move To Las Vegas On Hold As Legislation Stalls

Written By Marc Meltzer on June 6, 2023
Oakland A's Las Vegas Move Stalls

The Oakland A’s will have to wait a little longer before preparing to play baseball in Las Vegas. SB509, the bill for Nevada to contribute financial assistance to help build a Vegas Strip baseball stadium did not pass before the end of the legislative session.

This doesn’t mean the deal is done and there won’t be a Major League Baseball stadium in Las Vegas. It does signify that this multi-year process will continue to drag on.

The legislature is now adjourned until 2025. However, there could still be a vote on this and other bills that are in limbo after the end of the most recent session.

Shortly after the recent legislative session ended Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo released the following statement:

“Late last night, the regular legislative session concluded. My office and I are conferring with legislative leadership this evening, and I anticipate calling a special legislative session in the morning. I will issue a proclamation to outline agenda items for the special session when finalized.”

Lombardo has already pledged support to help the A’s finance a baseball stadium and move to Las Vegas. In May, he and the A’s released a statement saying the state and team have a tentative agreement for a move to Las Vegas.

Is the state running out of time?

A special session isn’t much of a surprise as the governor tries to save the deal despite some opposition.

If the bill is passed, the A’s will have to file a relocation application to MLB. The team will have to present a case that it can fund the remaining cost of building a stadium in Las Vegas.

The rest of MLB’s owners will have to approve the application and financials. It was possible that this could happen during the next owner’s meeting on June 13-15 in New York.

However, the current timeline might not work. The special session would have to begin immediately and the bill for funding would have to pass. MLB owners will likely have to gather on a Zoom meeting to discuss the potential A’s move to Las Vegas.

If Nevada doesn’t pass the legislation to help fund building a stadium in Las Vegas there still might be other few options for the A’s.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao is open to negotiating with the team to remain in the Bay area. Additionally, Salt Lake City and Orlando also have an interest in bringing an MLB team to their respective cities.

Funding a Las Vegas MLB stadium

Nevada will have a special session to consider contributing up to $380 million towards a new stadium to be built on the current site of the Tropicana. It appears as though it’s possible MLB will not approve the A’s move without funding.

The current projection for the cost of the 30,000-capacity stadium is $1.5 billion. The A’s would fund $1 billion to $1.1 billion towards the stadium.

Bally’s, Gaming And Leisure Properties and the A’s have a deal to use nine acres of land where the Tropicana currently operates.

The missing link is the remaining funding to build a stadium. That’s where Nevada comes in.

Nevada is being asked to chip in $380 to bring the team to Las Vegas. Funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits. Another $120 million will come from Clark County bonds. These will comprise most of the funding.

There will also be a special tax district around the stadium to pay the bonds and interest. Clark County would also issue a $25 million credit to cover infrastructure costs.

All of this will likely be discussed at a special legislative session.

Photo by Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP photo; illustrated 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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