Oakland A’s Take Another Leap Toward Las Vegas

The franchise agreed to purchase land for a new stadium near the Strip, so a move mirroring that of the Raiders now looks imminent

An Oakland Athletics outfielder tries to rob a home run. The A's bought land in Las Vegas and it looks like the move out of Oakland is almost done.
Arguably the worst MLB franchise, the Oakland A's are readying for a move to Las Vegas.
Getty Images

If it wasn’t totally a done deal before that the Oakland Athletics would follow their former NFL counterparts, the Raiders, to Las Vegas, now you can bet on it — though probably without much of a return. The A’s have agreed to buy land near the Las Vegas Strip on which they plan to build a new retractable-roof ballpark, the Associated Press reports. It’s a 49-acre plot and the stadium is expected to seat between 30,000 and 35,000 fans.

“The A’s will work with Nevada and Clark County on a public-private partnership to fund the stadium,” the AP wrote, with the team looking to break ground by next year and move into their new home for the 2027 MLB season. It’s sure to be an immense upgrade over the dilapidated Oakland Coliseum, in which the A’s have played since moving to California from Kansas City back when Richard Nixon was on his march to a presidential campaign victory for the first time.

Las Vegas Really Wants the Oakland Athletics to Move There
The Oakland A’s played a spring training series in Sin City last weekend. Many hope next time the team plays there, the games will count.

For context, the Atlanta Braves franchise has played in three brand new stadiums since then, as have the Texas Rangers. The city of Oakland couldn’t figure out how to give the A’s just one in all that time. According to Mayor Sheng Thao, though, it wasn’t for lack of trying. She said in a statement it was the team that was not acting in good faith as a “true partner” with the city, a claim that holds water. A’s leadership, according to reports, discouraged fans from attending home games in part by raising costs while lowering payroll.

“The city has gone above and beyond in our attempts to arrive at mutually beneficial terms to keep the A’s in Oakland,” she said. “In the last three months, we’ve made significant strides to close the deal. 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.”

Thao also added that the city has made significant investments in local infrastructure and are ready with redevelopment plans that she’d hoped included a new A’s arena.

“In a time of budget deficits, I refuse to compromise the safety and well-being of our residents,” she said. “Given these realities, we are ceasing negotiations.”

We know the A’s want to move to Las Vegas and that Vegas wants them. We know Oakland’s done with the team and we also know MLB supports the move.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said nearly two years ago that Vegas is a “viable alternative” for the A’s. In December, he announced the the A’s would not have to pay a relocation fee for a Vegas move, observing, “We’re past any reasonable timeline for the situation in Oakland to be resolved.”

To some extent it’s always sad to see a team leave a city, especially after such a drawn-out, bitter struggle to keep them around. Oakland sports fans are the people getting screwed the most, but I guess they’re used to it. The Raiders have left the city twice, you’ll recall. But, hey, with the A’s hitting the Strip, too, that’s all the more reason for fans to take a trip to Vegas, baby. A Raiders spokesman told The Mercury News in 2021, the first year the team played in front of people at its new home, that 12% of fans who had season tickets in Oakland in 2019 purchased Personal Seat Licenses in Vegas that ran from $500 to $70,000.

Anyone with that kind of money can probably hit the craps tables hard, too, and maybe place a bet on their favorite baseball team, the Las Vegas Athletics.

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