A’s must show they intend to better Vegas, not take advantage of it

The biggest aspect missing from the A’s talking points last week was a more detailed community benefits plan, which, The Sporting Tribune has learned, will be included on Monday.

LAS VEGAS – Nevada legislators sent a loud and clear signal to the Oakland A’s and Major League Baseball last Friday.

For baseball to work in Las Vegas, we need more give and less take.

Let’s hope they got the message because MLB and Las Vegas could be a beautiful marriage.

The days of the one-sided sweetheart deals should be over when it comes to public subsidies.

How can they make it work? There’s a simple solution: Make the A’s show and MLB demonstrate how they intend to better our community — not take advantage of it.

Check out how the NFL showed good faith and leadership in assisting the Buffalo Bills get their new $1.54 billion stadium passed.

New York State will fund $600 million of the project.

The NFL and the Bills will invest $550 million and Erie County $250 million.

Come Monday the A’s should return to the special session willing to extend a handshake of compromise to rework this deal, instead of expecting handouts.

Who says you don’t get a second chance to make a good impression?

Any way you dice it, the A’s and MLB need Las Vegas, with its one-of-a-kind electricity and proven ability to make big things happen.

Start with A’s owner John Fisher coming out of the shadows and becoming what he should be: the face of the franchise.

This impasse needs strong leadership. Time for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to step forward with a dynamic all-in plan.

The Sporting Tribune obtained the A’s talking points. Here are the A’s “key considerations” to relocate in Las Vegas:

— As part of that relocation, the A’s would construct a world-class, $1.5- billion, enclosed stadium with approximately 30,000 seats that would host A’s regular and postseason games, concerts and other special events on a 9-acre site located at the southeast corner of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard (portion of the current Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Resort site).

— The project would be developed as a public-private partnership, with the public contributing up to $380 million toward to the construction of the stadium.

— The A’s will contribute not less than $1.1 billion toward stadium construction and site acquisition; fund all relocation, startup and operating costs; and will be solely responsible for any construction cost overruns or operating losses.

— MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred has indicated, subject to a satisfactory public-private partnership, he expects the other team owners to waive a relocation fee for the A’s, indicating the full support of the league and making this a unique opportunity for the A’s and Nevada. Below are some key points of interest relative to the potential relocation.

— The A’s relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas would be only the second MLB relocation in the past 50 years (Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2004).

— The A’s $1.1 billion investment in the proposed MLB stadium would be the largest private investment in a baseball stadium in U.S. history.

— The Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Resort will be demolished to make way for the stadium project as well as other redevelopment on the balance of the 35-acre Tropicana site that is controlled by Bally’s Corporation.

— The proposed public contribution of up to $380 million is based on: (i) capturing taxes generated by a newly created sports and entertainment district that includes the MLB stadium, (ii) transferable tax credits of up to $180 million, $90 million of which will be refundable through excess revenues sourced to the newly created tax district and (iii) a $25 million major project development agreement credit provided by Clark County.

—The stadium will be owned by the public and will be exempt from property taxes. The public incentive structure requires no new taxes; it does not increase any existing taxes.

— Stadium construction is expected to begin by late 2024 or early 2025, with the first baseball game played in 2028.

—The A’s are committed to the development of a world-class baseball stadium that will be an asset to Las Vegas and will set the bar for the MLB.

— The public will own the stadium. The A’s will transfer ownership of the land to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority and contribute the first $100 million in development costs before any public money is invested in the project.

— The A’s will enter into a non-relocation agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority. The term of that agreement will not be less than 30 years, and it will require that if the A’s choose to leave for any reason (other than the destruction of the stadium), they will be required to pay off the remaining balance of any outstanding public debt as well as any then outstanding portion of the refundable, transferrable tax credits. Should that occur, the public would own the stadium, free and clear.”

The biggest aspect missing from the A’s talking points last week was a more detailed community benefits plan, which, The Sporting Tribune has learned, will be included on Monday.

While Las Vegas prepares for the possibility of adding another professional sports franchise to the city, A’s fans in Oakland still have hope their team will stay. They are planning a “reverse boycott” by packing Oakland Coliseum on Tuesday with a one-word message to Fisher. The word “SELL” will be plastered on the front of all of their shirts.