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It’s official, the Oakland A’s are moving to Las Vegas after Major League Baseball owners gave the franchise’s move the go-ahead last week.
The team announced plans to move to Sin City in the spring after reaching a deal to build a new stadium right on the Vegas Strip. However, the plan to leave Oakland still needed approval from three-fourths of MLB teams. A’s management secured unanimous support at the league’s recent quarterly meetings in Arlington, Texas.
“Today is an incredibly difficult day for Oakland A’s fans,” Athletics owner John Fisher said. “It’s a great day for Las Vegas.”
Details On The Move
As part of the relocation, plans call for the demolition of the Tropicana casino with the A’s building a 35,000-seat retractable roof stadium on nine acres of the 34-acre site at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.
The real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties actually owns the property with Bally’s paying $10.5 million annually as part of a 50-year lease agreement. The deal with Bally’s means the A’s wouldn’t have to pay for purchasing property to build.
The agreement allows Bally’s to then construct a casino and hotel on the same property hosting the new stadium. The $1.5 billion stadium is expected to make use of $380 million in public funds. That isn’t final yet, however, and faces legal challenges from a Nevada teachers union.
Nevertheless, MLB officials were pleased to see the plan coming together and noted that the league had tried for years to get a stadium deal in Oakland.
“I know this is a terrible day for fans in Oakland,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. “I understand that. And that’s why we’ve always had a policy of doing everything humanly possible to avoid a relocation. And I truly believe we did that in this case. I think it’s beyond debate that the status quo in Oakland was untenable. Those of you who have been in the building understand what I’m talking about. And I absolutely am convinced that there was not a viable path forward in Oakland.”
Growing Vegas Sports Landscape
Initial estimates put construction on track to begin in 2024 with a completion date planned for 2027 or 2028. The addition of the A’s comes as Vegas has become a pro sports hotspot in recent years with the relaxation of laws against sports betting all over the country.
The NHL’s Golden Knights play at an arena on the Strip, and the NFL’s Raiders relocated to a stadium just west of the Strip in 2019. The WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces host their games at an arena at the Mandalay Bay Casino Resort.
The addition of the A’s also brings another major stadium to the city. When construction of the baseball stadium is complete, all Vegas’s sports venues will be located within a couple miles of each other.