The Oakland A’s are still considering a move to Las Vegas. The actual ongoing saga is about a year old (but many more than that if you count rumors alone) and seems to be stuck in a loop. However, the team narrowed its stadium locations to two options, and there could be a twist that won’t surprise anyone.
Last May, Major League Baseball (MLB) gave the Oakland A’s approval to explore the option of moving the team from the Bay Area in California. The consent to look for other options was granted as the A’s started discussions about building a massive $12 billion waterfront stadium district in Oakland.
After exploring a few cities, the A’s decided to focus their efforts on moving to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, talks with Oakland are still continuing with Oakland on that mammoth project that would include retail space, housing, a hotel, and more to go alongside the new baseball stadium.
Over the past year, management for the A’s has been looking into possible locations throughout Las Vegas to build a stadium. The latest update is that the A’s have narrowed the search to two sites on or near the Vegas Strip. The team has not revealed specific locations.
This extended negotiation has led to the A’s having historically poor attendance this season. The attendance in Oakland is so low that its AAA team, the Las Vegas Aviators, is drawing more fans to its home games.
The Oakland A’s and Las Vegas: a neverending story
Earlier this year, the A’s management team was considering five potential sites around Las Vegas that could become home to an MLB stadium. Now that it’s down to two, narrowing the options by 60% shows some kind of progress.
Surprisingly, the timeline of the A’s negotiating with Oakland and considering Las Vegas remains on pace from last year. There’s a possibility that the A’s could have a decision to move to Las Vegas or stay in Oakland by the summer.
Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval said:
“Hopefully we’ll get a sense this summer in Oakland with some of the votes. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make an announcement in Las Vegas on a site soon and we can start a conversation with the community about how to bring that to a reality.”
On June 30, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission will vote on whether or not to allow the project to proceed. The impediment is that the waterfront area would need to remove the port designation for the area the A’s want to move.
If the port designation is removed, the A’s can move forward negotiating with Oakland on the project. Negotiations between Oakland and the A’s could continue through the year.
If the designation is not removed, the likelihood of the A’s moving to Las Vegas will grow stronger.
Public money may become available in Nevada
Public money could be in play to help the A’s build a stadium in Las Vegas. Publicly, this hasn’t been a serious consideration throughout the year-long discussions with Las Vegas.
Well, the process is so slow that there’s a plot twist. Public money could become available if the A’s decide to move to Las Vegas.
The state could offer two types of public assistance. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Steve Hill, CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) says some financial assistance could be provided.
There are no specifics on the type of funding that would be offered. Another room tax probably isn’t in the cards.
This method was used to help fund Allegiant Stadium for the Raiders, but the state can’t run the same gag twice. They have to come up with something new.
Regarding specific public funding, Hill says:
“I do think there’s some methods to make a contribution that probably could and do make sense.”
Funding isn’t the only help the LVCVA could provide. The Las Vegas tourism marketing organization could also help the A’s find other partnerships to assist in the building of a Las Vegas MLB stadium.