A’s scaled-down venue plans on Tropicana site



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Oakland A’s reached agreement for stadium site in Las Vegas Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Major League Baseball (MLB) team Oakland Athletics have 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.

‘AP’ stated that Bally’s Corporation made the announcement on May 15th for a 30,000-seat stadium on the 35-acre site. The project is expected to cost about $1.5 billion, and the ‘A’s’ are asking for nearly $400 million in public support from the Nevada Legislature, which could vote on a proposal very soon.

The Oakland Athletics are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California, US. The Athletics compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) 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 Oakland Arena, near Interstate 880. The Coliseum is the home ballpark of the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB).

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 Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust specializing in casino properties, based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, US. It was formed in November 2013 as a corporate spin-off from the Penn National Gaming. The company owns 57 casino properties, all of which are leased to other companies.

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.

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 has decided to move to Las Vegas. The team has a lease agreement to play at the aging Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum through 2024.

‘AP’ further stated that the ‘A’s’ previously signed an agreement to build a stadium also on Tropicana Avenue but on the other side of Interstate 15 that runs alongside the Strip. They were expected to ask the Legislature for $500 million in public funds for the 49-acre site that would have included much more than a stadium.

The new agreement is a scaled-down proposal but the location is in closer walking distance for fans that are staying in hotels on the South end of the Strip.

Dave Kaval, ‘A’s’ President, said in a statement, “We are excited about the potential to bring Major League Baseball to this iconic location. We are thrilled to work alongside Bally’s and GLPI, and look forward to finalizing plans to bring the Athletics to Southern Nevada.”

Kaval has said he hopes to break ground on a new ballpark next year and open the venue in time for the 2027 season. The ‘A’s have a lease at the Oakland Coliseum through 2024, and they could play the 2025 and 2026 seasons at the Las Vegas Ballpark, home to their Triple-A affiliate Aviators.

The 10,000-capacity Las Vegas Ballpark is a baseball stadium in Summerlin South, Nevada, United States, in the Las Vegas Valley. It is the home field for the Las Vegas Aviators of the Pacific Coast League, who are currently affiliated with the Oakland Athletics. The stadium is owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation.

The Tropicana opened in 1957 and in its heyday drew such A-listers as American singer Sammy Davis Jr. Now the Trop is overshadowed by nearby megaresorts such as the MGM Grand, New York-New York and Mandalay Bay, and soon it likely will meet the fate of so many other historic Las Vegas hotels that are no longer around.

George Papanier, Bally’s President, said in a statement, “We are honored to have been selected to partner with the Oakland Athletics on this monumental step in helping to bring Major League Baseball to the great City of Las Vegas, and to be a part of the once-in-a-generation opportunity of having a professional baseball team located within a short walk of the Las Vegas Strip. The Tropicana has been a landmark of Las Vegas for generations, and this development will enhance this iconic site for generations to come.”

The ‘A’s’ had been looking for a new home for years to replace the outdated and run-down Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. It is averaging less than 9,500 fans at home this season, by far the lowest among the 30 MLB teams.

The team had been in negotiations with the City of Oakland to build a stadium on the waterfront but switched the focus entirely to Las Vegas last month. The ‘A’s’ exclusive negotiating rights deal with the Port of Oakland for the Howard Terminal site expired recently, allowing the port to negotiate with other parties interested in using the downtown site.

Recently, the ‘A’s’ also reached a deal with the Culinary Union, a politically powerful Nevada union that represents more than 60,000 workers mostly in the Las Vegas area, which guarantees that ‘A’s’ workers have the right to organize and negotiate union contracts.

Ted Pappageorge, Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer, said in a statement, “We hope there will be a path forward for all stakeholders so the Las Vegas ‘A’s’ can join the National Hockey League (NHL) team Vegas Golden Knights and the National Football League team Las Vegas Raiders to continue this transformation as Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, also becomes the sporting capital of the world.”

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