The Oakland A’s plan to build a ballpark near the Las Vegas Strip in time for the 2027 season.
It appears that the Oakland Athletics will soon be no more. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the MLB team has entered a binding agreement to purchase land near the Las Vegas Strip, effectively ensuring an upcoming move.
Team president Dave Kaval confirmed the news Wednesday night.
“For a while we were on parallel paths [with Oakland], but we have turned our attention to Las Vegas to get a deal here for the A’s and find a long-term home,” he told the Review-Journal. “Oakland has been a great home for us for over 50 years, but we really need this 20-year saga completed and we feel there’s a path here in Southern Nevada to do that.”
Estimated to cost $1.5 billion, the 35,000-seat stadium will feature a partially retractable roof. Other potential features to the ballpark that will sit just north of the Las Vegas Raiders‘ Allegiant Stadium include restaurants and an amphitheater. Once everything is finalized, Kaval says construction will begin in 2024. The A’s can begin play in Vegas by 2027.
“That’s the current plan right now. Obviously things need to fall into place … but I think that is an achievable timeline right now,” Kaval added.
Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo issued remarks of his own to show his excitement.
“Welcoming the A’s to Las Vegas would be great news for Southern Nevada as well as our entire state,” he said. “The prospect of bringing new jobs, more economic development and a historic MLB franchise to Las Vegas is exciting on many levels. As we continue to navigate this opportunity, I’m in regular communication with the A’s, Major League Baseball, legislative leadership, and local and state stakeholders.”
However, not everyone responded quite as positively. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao criticized the A’s for using their current situation to leverage a better outcome in Vegas.
“I am deeply disappointed that the A’s have chosen not to negotiate with the City of Oakland as a true partner, in a way that respects the long relationship between the fans, the City and the team,” Thao said in a statement, via ESPN. “Yet, it is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game — the fans and our residents deserve better.”
Since moving to the Bay Area in 1968, the A’s have played at what is today known as Oakland Coliseum. In recent years, the ballpark has shown its age as attendance has sagged. Fans have long requested repairs to the rundown facility, but it appears the club went in another direction. Per ESPN, the A’s considered Fremont and San Jose before looking toward Vegas as their new home.
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