‘A’s’ Las Vegas Strip stadium ordeal on


Oakland Athletics stadium update 10-6-2023 Image: Major League Baseball and Oakland Athletics

The Nevada Senate adjourned on June 8th without voting on a financing bill for a proposed $1.5 billion Las Vegas Strip stadium (US) for the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Oakland Athletics, extending the special legislative session into the next week amid negotiations over whether to contribute $380 million in public funding to the project.

‘cbsnews.com’ stated that the measure can still be amended by lawmakers and, if it passes the Senate, it would still need approval from the Assembly before going to the desk of the Republican Governor of Nevada, Joe Lombardo, who has expressed support for it. Both the State Senate and Assembly are adjourned until June 12th.

The Oakland Athletics are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the American League West division. The team plays its home games at the Oakland Coliseum.

The 63,000-capacity Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is a stadium in Oakland, California (US). It is part of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex, with the adjacent 19,200-capacity Oakland Arena, near Interstate 880. The Coliseum is the home ballpark of the Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics.

The ‘A’s new venue plans included creating a mixed-use development with up to 3,000 residential units, up to 1.5 million square feet of offices and up to 270,000 square feet of retail uses. The proposed development at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal included plans for a $12 billion mixed-use project built around a $1 billion, 30,000-seat waterfront ballpark.

However, with a lot of feet-dragging on the Oakland plan, the team had decided to move to Las Vegas. The team has a lease agreement to play at the aging Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum through 2024.

The Oakland Athletics reached an agreement with Bally’s and Gaming and Leisure Properties to build a potential stadium on the Tropicana hotel site along the Las Vegas Strip in United States.

The Bally’s Corporation is a gaming, betting and interactive entertainment company headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island (US). It owns and operates 15 casinos across 10 States, a horse track in Colorado and online sports betting operations in 14 States.

The Tropicana Las Vegas is a casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, US. It is owned and operated by Bally’s Corporation, on land leased from the Gaming and Leisure Properties. It offers 1,467 rooms, a 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) gaming floor and 72,000 sq ft (6,700 m2) of convention and exhibit space.

‘cbsnews.com’ further stated that in a hearing that began on June 7th and stretched into the early morning hours on June 8th, lawmakers peppered tourism officials and a representative from a firm partnering with the ball club with questions about the feasibility and benefits of financing such a deal.

Public funds for the stadium would mainly come from $180 million in transferable tax credits and $120 million in county bonds. Backers have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium would generate enough money to pay off those bonds and interest. The plan would not directly raise taxes.

The ‘A’s’ would not owe property taxes for the publicly-owned stadium. The Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, would also contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The ‘A’s’ representatives and some tourism officials say a deal would further grow Las Vegas’ developing sports scene and act as an economic engine, but a growing chorus of economists and some lawmakers warn that the project would bring minimal benefits for the hefty public price tag.

Many ‘A’ fans have been closely watching the special session in Nevada. This latest development has given them renewed hope of keeping their team rooted in Oakland.

Opined Anson Casanares with the Oakland 68s (independent supporters group of the ‘A’s’, “This is kind of a 911 emergency call for ‘A’s’ fans to rally together and fight just to keep the ‘A’s’ in Oakland.”

The 68s are organizing a reverse boycott for next June 13th to show just how much the green and gold (The official Oakland Athletics team colors are Kelly green, gold and white) means to Oakland and the Bay Area fans.

Added Casanares, “We’re here. We care. If you’re going to try to take the ‘A’s’ out of Oakland, we’re not going to go down without a fight.”

Oakland fans are hoping Nevada lawmakers pass on what they call a stadium scam. The biggest win will be to get ‘A’s’ owner John Fisher to sell the team.

Continued Casanares, “It’s not just losing a baseball team. It’s not just ‘A’s’ fans being able to watch baseball, it’s bigger than baseball. It’s bigger than sports.”

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