The team may become the Las Vegas A’s if a deal isn’t reached on a new waterfront stadium in Oakland
The Oakland Athletics have spent over two decades trying to get a new stadium to no avail.
After failing to find common ground with Oakland city officials, the A’s are now considering leaving their longtime Bay Area home for Las Vegas.
Major League Baseball gave the A’s the go-ahead to explore new cities in May due the team’s lack of progress on securing a new stadium deal with local officials, as well concerns over Oakland being a financially sustainable home for the team.
While the A’s and Oakland officials continue talks on a new stadium, Las Vegas still appears to have favorable odds of adopting the team.
Where Things Stand Now
The A’s slogan may be “Rooted in Oakland,” but the team hasn’t felt quite at home in its current stadium.
The team has played at RingCentral — originally built as Oakland Coliseum — since 1968. The Raiders also played at the coliseum from 1966-2018, making it one of the last stadiums to host both a professional football and baseball team.
The coliseum has since fallen into a state of disrepair and has been plagued by a number of issues including faulty lighting and sewage that reportedly overflows into the dugouts on occasion.
Attendance has also been an issue for the coliseum with most games numbering around several thousand spectators in contrast to the nearly 45,000 available seats.
The current lease isn’t up until 2024, but the team feels there is no way forward at its current location.
“A new ballpark is needed for the A’s continued success. We agree with MLB’s position that the coliseum location is not a viable option for the future of the franchise,” Athletics’ President Dave Kaval said in a statement.
The A’s have unsuccessfully pushed for a new stadium for several years before the MLB finally gave the team permission to look for other potential cities.
The league has considered Charlotte, Montreal, Nashville, Portland, Vancouver, Nashville as potential cities, but Las Vegas is the only city the team officials have publicly visited so far.
Kaval and other team officials have visited Las Vegas and the surrounding area at least four times to scout potential locations for a stadium, and meet with local political and business figures, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
While a Las Vegas move is just speculation for the time being, it would make sense considering the Raiders success.
Vegas is also home to the Las Vegas Aviators, a Minor League Baseball team and Triple-A affiliate of the A’s.
The team has already scouted several potential spots for a $1 billion stadium in Las Vegas, including Summerlin and the Las Vegas Festival Grounds near Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, according to the Review-Journal.
The A’s have still been pushing for their original proposal for a new waterfront stadium at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal.
Oakland’s City Council voted 6-1 on July 20 on approving the waterfront stadium project, but with several amendments. Notably, the city council added an amendment to not hold the A’s responsible for $352 million in off site infrastructure costs.
Still, the A’s were not satisfied that their original proposal for a $12 billion mixed use project that included a $1 billion, 35,000 seat stadium was not approved by the city. Other amendments were also added without input from the A’s, including requirements for affordable housing, anti-displacement protections and environmental measures.
“I really want to work with the council to see how we can get something we agreed to vote on before the recess, as opposed to voting on something that doesn’t work for our side.” Kaval said in a statement. “We’re very keen on moving this process forward, getting a ‘yes’ vote on something that we agree with and working in tandem to create this incredible vision and making it a reality.
Although the team is still negotiating with Oakland, it appears that the odds may be more in Vegas’ favor if they can’t agree on a deal.
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