The Oakland Athletics finished the 2023 season last in the MLB with a 50-112 record. With the team’s poor performance as well as a lack of steady attendance from fans, the A’s management has seriously looked at relocating the team. The prime choice destination is Las Vegas, and the team has had their eyes on the city for the past few years. Much work has gone into the process of relocating the team, but a recent pushback from the Nevada State Educational Association might block the $380 million of public funds already awarded to the team.

NSEA represents educators and teachers around the state, and their goal is to stop the relocation of the baseball team to secure those funds for public use. Along with NSEA, it has been the Schools Over Stadiums political group that has been leading the fight against the A’s arrival in Las Vegas. There is also a large number of locals in the area who  do not support a new team coming into town.

“When we finally kill the Tropicana stadium deal, it will be a combination of these Oakland A’s fans, our efforts at Schools Over Stadiums and Strong Public Schools, and John Fisher‘s ineptitude,” NSEA deputy executive director of government relations Chris Daly said.

The “Tropicana stadium deal” refers to the proposed stadium that the Athletics would use in Vegas if their move were to go through. The name comes from the fact that the land used for the stadium would be what is currently the Tropicana Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, in close location to Allegiant Stadium and T-Mobile Arena.

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For owner Fisher, a stadium for the A’s to play in is of utmost priority. The team’s lease on the Oakland Colosseum ends in 2024, and the team has yet to find a space for the coming years. Even if a move to Vegas was made soon, the new stadium in Nevada isn’t expected to be completed until 2028.

That leaves a three-season window without a stadium for the Athletics, something they will have to find a solution to soon. The three most realistic options for the team would either be to stay in Oakland and renegotiate a deal with the stadium, or relocate to Sacramento or Salt Lake City from 2025-27. Both Sacramento and Salt Lake City have baseball stadiums with a capacity for 14,000 fans, but the A’s would have to work alongside minor league teams to make the scheduling work.

With the Athletic’s lack of popularity in Oakland as well as the growing sports culture in Las Vegas, the NSEA’s pushback still might not be enough to stop the team from relocating. The A’s have been playing in the Oakland Colosseum since 1968, having to share it with the Oakland Raiders for 26 of those years. Their stadium in the Bay Area is one of the oldest and most outdated in the MLB, but with a seared relationship between the team and stadium ownership, a new deal for the team to stay will most likely not go through.

With the start of the 2024 season approaching, pressure for a set-in-stone plan will only grow for Fisher and the team. And even if the move to Las Vegas does eventually happen, it will be met with extreme pushback by the NSEA and Vegas locals.

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