Legislative insider gives A’s stadium in Vegas 50-50 chance

A veteran legislative insider tells The Sporting Tribune that the A's stadium in Vegas has just a "50-50" chance of happening now. "It doesn't seem to be a priority."

LAS VEGAS — There’s a 50-50 chance the Oakland A’s bid for a new home in Las Vegas goes into extra innings.

A special session seemed to be a growing likelihood Monday as the legislature enters the final day of the regular session. Passage would provide the A’s with a $380 million subsidy for their proposed 30,000-seat $1.5 billion ballpark with a retractable roof on Las Vegas Boulevard.

“I’d give it a 50-50. It doesn’t seem to be a priority,” a veteran legislative insider told The Sporting Tribune.

At a hearing last week, most of the opposition came from Battle Born Progress, Nevada State Educators Association (NSEA) and the Progressive Leadership Alliances of Nevada (PLAN).

The pushback, the source said, “is based on the idea that stadiums are bad bills for the public. Some of them called it ‘Billionaire welfare,’ some argue that the money should go to education, housing or other social services.

“They also have argued that the A’s have not been good community partners in Oakland and will do the same in Las Vegas. They also cited the low attendance in Oakland and the overall low performance of the team during its history.”

If the votes aren’t there, a special session could be called. If that were to fail, the A’s still have the option to renew their stadium contract in Oakland.

Could the Las Vegas Ballpark in Summerlin, home of the A’s Class AAA affiliate, be expanded from 10,000 to 25,000 and shared with the Las Vegas Aviators?

“The problem is our footprint is small,” said Aviators executive director Don Logan. “Not enough room to do anything appreciable.”

He added, “The way we have left it, if they get approved and enacted, we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them.”

A’s owner John Fisher “is not the problem,” said Logan. “He’s a very nice man in an awful situation.”

“The place (the A’s stadium) is crumbling around the team. It’s difficult to sign free agent agents.”

Historically bad season in Oakland

One thing’s clear, if the A’s end up in Las Vegas in 2027 or 2028, the team will face a massive makeover.

With a current record of 12-49, the A’s are one month behind the historically bad New York Mets’ 40-120 season in 1962, a modern-day major league record for futility.  

Not even Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel, then 71, could help the not-ready-for-prime-time cast of castoffs.

The Mets began their debut season with a nine-game losing streak and didn’t reach 20 wins until June 29. Win No. 30 didn’t come until August 8, due in part to an 11-game losing streak.

Playing at the Polo Grounds, the Mets averaged 11,532 fans per game, 11th best in the big leagues. The Dodgers led MLB by a lot that year in their new home park, averaging 33,195 in Chavez Ravine, now Dodgers Stadium.

How awful were the Mets?  

Against right-handed pitchers they were 20-92 and 14-28 against lefties. In one-run games they were 19-39. In the 45 games considered blowouts, they were 8-37. 

On May 25 of that season, they gave up a season-high 17 runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won 102 games that season, one behind the San Francisco Giants. 

Mets pitchers registered just four shutouts and were blanked six times. They won two in a row six times and three in a row just three times. They gave up an MLB-worst 5.9 runs per game

Their best month was May, when they won nine of 27 games.

The A’s are averaging just under 9,000 fans, the lowest in MLB, compared to the Dodgers’ 47,893, best in baseball. 

Total attendance for the A’s is just over 240,000 compared to the Yankees’ baseball-best 1.2 million, which leads both leagues. A year ago, Oakland’s average attendance was 9,973.

Shot-blocking Kings

The Golden Knights led the NHL in blocked shots during the regular season, with former Los Angeles Kings teammates Alec Martinez and Brayden McNabb ranked on and two.

“It’s not me,” said Martinez. “It’s all of us. Everyone believes in the system and it’s something we have to do in order to win.”

McNabb said the skill “became more a part of my game” after coming over from the Kings.

“I try to be in position to let the puck hit me, much like a goaltender does. I think when your try and chase the puck you don’t always get the block. But I try to be big and let the puck hit you.”


At Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday: Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garappolo in the Hyde Lounge. Also spotted: actor Owen Wilson, with one of his sons. They were seated next to rapper Lil Wayne. Also at the game: John Taffer, host of the TV reality series “Bar Rescue” and celebrity DJ Kygo.