Posted on: May 30, 2021, 11:13h.
Last updated on: May 30, 2021, 11:13h.
Officials from the Oakland A’s MLB franchise visited Las Vegas recently, and liked what they saw in their potential new home.
Athletics President Dave Kaval accompanied billionaire owner John Fisher to Southern Nevada for several days last week. Fisher, whose fortune comes from his parents’ founding of the GAP clothing brand, is mulling relocating the professional baseball organization to a new city.
Las Vegas has become a preeminent sports town since the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in May of 2018. Pro leagues had long opposed allowing a team to call Las Vegas home due to its widespread sports gambling, something many worried would jeopardize the integrity of their games.
That is no longer the case. Today, the NFL, NHL, and WNBA all have teams playing along the Las Vegas Strip. And some of Sin City’s most powerful people are hoping to add the A’s in the coming years.
There were many opponents throughout Southern Nevada to Clark County helping the then-Oakland Raiders build a $1.9 billion NFL stadium.
Allegiant Stadium, as the massive 65,000-seat football complex is today known, was built with $750 million in tax money supplied by Clark County. The funds were raised by increasing the hotel occupancy tax on nightly stays by 0.88 percent.
Oakland A’s brass toured Las Vegas, meeting with casino executives, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, and Henderson officials. The team didn’t say where exactly they would prefer to build a ballpark, but did explain that it would need around 30,000 fixed seats, and standing room for another 4,000 fans.
The cost? Kaval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal $1 billion. The team would ideally prefer to be close to entertainment and the hustle and bustle that Las Vegas is known.
“Our business is in entertainment and I think the more we do to have a top quality experience, both in terms of the venue we build, wherever it’s built, and then also the experience in programming, it is critically important,” Kaval said. “It feels like that’s an expectation and I think it’s something that our league needs.”
Kaval’s comments came after experiencing a Vegas Golden Knights playoff game at T-Mobile, a venue MGM Resorts owns a 50 percent stake in.
Seeing the success of professional sports in Southern Nevada with locals has been very impressive,” Kaval added.
Goodman Prefers City Site
The mayor says the Oakland A’s should consider Cashman Field just north of downtown Las Vegas. The stadium is currently home of the Las Vegas Lights FC of the USL Championship league. It was formerly the home of the Las Vegas 51s Minor Leaguer Baseball team.
The city-owned field, Goodman says, sits in a federal opportunity zone, which would help obtain tax incentives for a major overhaul of the stadium into an MLB ballpark.
The A’s are considering a move out of Oakland after its home city again failed to come to terms with the franchise to build it a new venue. MLB says its current stadium — the Oakland Coliseum — “is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball.”