The A’s Are Another Step Closer To Bringing MLB To The Vegas Strip

Written By Marc Meltzer on May 15, 2023
Oakland A's And Bally's Have Vegas Strip Deal

The Oakland A’s are another step closer to playing their home games on the Vegas Strip. Bally’s Corp. announced Monday that the company and its landlord, Gaming And Leisure Properties (GLPI), have a binding agreement with the A’s that will allow the team to build a stadium on the Vegas Strip.

The announcement follows reports that the A’s have shifted their focus back to building a baseball stadium on the Vegas Strip where the Tropicana currently operates. Nearly a month ago, the team signed a binding deal with Red Rock Resorts to buy land for a new Major League Baseball stadium just west of the Vegas Strip.

A’s Moving Forward On The Vegas Strip

Like the previous Red Rock deal, this is also pending MLB’s approval for the A’s to move to Las Vegas. Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval said:

“We are excited about the potential to bring Major League Baseball to this iconic location. We are thrilled to work alongside Bally’s and GLPI, and look forward to finalizing plans to bring the Athletics to Southern Nevada.”

This agreement does not solidify the A’s plans to leave Oakland for Las Vegas. The deal will become official after the A’s receive public funding assistance to build a 30,000-capacity baseball stadium on the site.

Under the terms of this deal, GLPI has agreed to fund up to $175 million toward certain shared improvements within the future development. The company will be able to increase rent in exchange for the funding.

Bally’s President George Papanier said:

“We are honored to have been selected to partner with the Oakland Athletics on this monumental step in helping to bring Major League Baseball to the great city of Las Vegas.”

He also noted the stadium wouldn’t actually be right on the Vegas Strip, but “within a short walk of the Las Vegas Strip.”

This leaves the Tropicana land closest to the Vegas Strip available for redevelopment. Previous reports said Bally’s would build a 1,500-room hotel and casino on the land.

Peter Carlino Chairman and CEO of GLPI said:

“As the project moves forward, we also expect that GLPI will have opportunities to further invest in the various aspects of the overall project to the extent we deem that doing so will generate an attractive risk-adjusted return on our shareholders’ capital.”

Neither Bally’s nor GLPI are confirming that a new casino will be built on this land.

Funding Still TBD

This agreement is dependent on the A’s receiving public funding to help build the baseball stadium. The team plans to pay $1 billion of the $1.5 billion the stadium is expected to cost.

The team is looking for public funding for the balance of the expense. This deal should reduce the request for public funding from $500 million to $395 million.

There are three weeks remaining in Nevada’s 120-day legislature. A bill for funding has not been introduced at this time.

Fox 5 Las Vegas is reporting that a deal has been reached and will be revealed later this week.

The never-ending story continues.

Bally’s Expects The Stadium To Draw 2.5 Million

The pitch for this stadium is that it will bring millions of locals and tourists to the Vegas Strip. In its statement, Bally’s notes that:

“The ballpark is expected to welcome more than 2.5 million fans and visitors annually.”

That’s possible, but there will need to be more than a stadium on the Tropicana land to attract that many people.

If the capacity of the stadium is 30,000 the A’s would have to sell out every game to attract 2,430,000 fans and visitors. If the stadium capacity is 35,000, as originally proposed, it would attract 2,835,000 fans and visitors if all games are sold out.

It’s likely the venue will attempt to host other events like concerts and other sports. However, it would be competing with nearby Allegiant Stadium and T-Mobile Arena.

The home of the Las Vegas Raiders drew 1.7 million fans for its events last year. The football stadium is approximately twice the size of what’s projected for the new MLB stadium. It also holds fewer events with the shorter football schedules of the Raiders and UNLV Rebels.

The capacity of the proposed stadium would put it between T-Mobile Arena and Allegiant Stadium. This could provide a touring option for concerts too large for a traditional area and stadium.

Photo by Godofredo A. Vásquez / AP photo
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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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