LAS VEGAS — The Oakland Athletics’ potential move to Las Vegas has gained substantial steam over a three-day period and the team could be approved for relocation by MLB owners as early as June.
On Friday, the Athletics released renderings of the team’s proposed $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat, retractable roof stadium on the current site of the Tropicana on the Las Vegas Strip.
The stadium is set to be situated on 9 acres of land on the southeast corner of the 35-acre Tropicana Las Vegas site.
On Thursday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Major League Baseball team owners could vote in June on the Athletics’ potential relocation to Las Vegas.
“It’s possible that a relocation vote could happen as early as June,” Manfred said in Milwaukee. “It’s very difficult to have a timeline for Oakland until there’s actually a deal to be considered. There is a relocation process internally they need to go through, and we haven’t even started that process.”
On Wednesday, Athletics and public officials in Nevada reached a tentative agreement on a funding bill that, if approved, will give the team a big push in its quest to relocate to Las Vegas.
Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo announced the agreement for a taxpayer contribution to the proposed ballpark.
“This agreement follows months of negotiations between the state, the county and the A’s, and I believe it gives us a tremendous opportunity to continue building on the professional sports infrastructure of southern Nevada,” Lombardo said in a statement. “Las Vegas is clearly a sports town, and Major League Baseball should be a part of it.”
The stadium funding bill calls for the creation of a sports and entertainment district at the stadium area, with taxes in the district helping toward repayment of the public share of the project.
Financial figures regarding public financing have yet to be revealed but will be made public when the bill goes to the Nevada legislature, which is expected soon. The legislature would need to approve the bill, and Lombardo sign it, for the ballpark to move ahead.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing sources, said the public won’t pay more than $380 million of the tab.
The A’s have been stymied in their attempts to get a new stadium in the Bay Area and instead turned to the site of the Tropicana hotel and casino. The Review-Journal said plans call for a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat, retractable roof stadium that would have views of the Las Vegas strip when the roof is open.
Per the report, the landmark Tropicana would be torn down, and the stadium would occupy nine acres of the 35-acre site. A resort could be built on the excess land later.
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that a quick approval could lead to the A’s leaving Oakland after the 2023 season, despite their lease there not expiring until the end of 2024.
They would share the ballpark of their Triple-A team, the Las Vegas Aviators, while their stadium is under construction. A 2027 stadium opening is being targeted.
The A’s have played in Oakland since 1968, the season they moved from Kansas City.
“We’re very appreciative of the support from the State of Nevada and Clark County’s leadership,” A’s president Dave Kaval said in a statement. “We want to thank Governor Lombardo, the Legislative leadership, the Treasurer, and Clark County Commissioners and staff on the collaborative process. We look forward to advancing this legislation in a responsible way.”