Oakland A’s Buy Land In Las Vegas For New Stadium, Oakland Mayor Responds
Oakland Athletics Team President Dave Kaval announced Wednesday night that the team had purchased land on the Las Vegas strip to build a new stadium. The team was long rumored to be negotiating with the cities of Oakland and Las Vegas for a new park and seem to have settled on terms with the latter.
The Oakland Athletics tentatively plan to break ground next year on a $1 billion Las Vegas ballpark with a partially retractable roof, per @reviewjournal.
It would be set to open in time for the 2027 season. pic.twitter.com/EN6H4YW2YT
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) April 20, 2023
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The land, 49 acres owned by Red Rock Resorts will reportedly be used to construct a new $1.5 billion stadium that will seat 35,000 fans. The Athletics have played in the Oakland Coliseum with minimal renovations since 1968.
“For a while we were on parallel paths [with Oakland], but we have turned our attention to Las Vegas to get a deal here for the A’s and find a long-term home,” Kaval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Oakland has been a great home for us for over 50 years, but we really need this 20-year saga completed and we feel there’s a path here in Southern Nevada to do that.”
If the Athletics leave Oakland, a proposition which seems increasingly certain, they will follow the NFL’s Raiders in an exodus to Las Vegas, which offers a larger market and more revenue. Early in the 2023 season, the A’s trail all other MLB teams in fan attendance and are on track to have one of the worst seasons in franchise history with a 3-16 record through 19 games.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao criticized the team’s decision to move forward with its move to Las Vegas, claiming that the team used the city as a bargaining chip to ensure a better deal elsewhere.
“I am deeply disappointed that the A’s have chosen not to negotiate with the City of Oakland as a true partner, in a way that respects the long relationship between the fans, the City and the team,” Thao said in a statement. “Yet, it is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game – the fans and our residents deserve better.”
To protest the move, A’s fans in Oakland plan to stage a reverse boycott in June in an attempt to convince the team to stay. On average, the team has enjoyed a home crowd of just 11,000 fans while 22 of 30 MLB teams have received at least 20,000.
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