Viva Las Veg-A’s? Oakland Athletics Move To Sin City Still In Play

Posted By Marc Meltzer on July 21, 2021

Las Vegas is still in the running to be the future home of the Oakland Athleticss.

A Major League Baseball team moving to Las Vegas isn’t exactly a new rumor. The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino was rumored to be imploded to make room for a new baseball stadium as far back as 2018.

That rumor fizzled, and the Rio was sold. The new owners do not plan on making room for a baseball stadium. In fact, Dreamscape Companies LLC teamed up with Hyatt hotels and plans to redevelop the existing hotel and casino.

While the Rio rumor may no longer be relevant, there’s still a possibility that the A’s could follow the former Oakland Raiders and move to a new stadium somewhere in Las Vegas.

Where in Las Vegas would the A’s play?

The A’s are considering Las Vegas as an alternative location if the team can’t reach an agreement with the city of Oakland to build a new stadium in California. Team leadership has already visited Las Vegas to explore more than 20 potential stadium locations.

The former MGM Resorts Festival Grounds at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard is the next location for the A’s to explore. Phil Ruffin, owner of Circus Circus and Treasure Island, currently owns 60 acres of vacant land.

The A’s are even considering playing games at its Triple-A affiliate stadium, Las Vegas Ballpark, while a new building rises from the dirt somewhere in Las Vegas.

What’s going on in Oakland?

The situation remains unclear despite the city of Oakland agreeing to move forward by exploring new stadium options. This week, Oakland City Council members voted 6-1 in favor of a nonbinding term sheet for the Oakland Athletics’ proposed waterfront ballpark.

The vote wasn’t on the proposal the A’s were hoping for, however. Rather, the city voted to approve an amended counter-proposal. Athletics President David Kaval told the city council the team was “hoping today would be a yes vote on our proposal or a close derivative. A yes vote on the city’s counter (offer) is not a path forward.”

Long story short, the A’s and Oakland will continue to explore the viability of this proposal even though it’s not to the liking of the team. Rob Manfred, the MLB commissioner, isn’t all too happy with this proposal either.

“For the last four years at my request and urging, the Athletics have invested significant resources and have made a major commitment to their community in hopes of remaining as Oakland’s only major professional sports franchise.”

“We are disappointed the City Council chose to vote on a proposal to which the A’s had not agreed. We will immediately begin conversations with the A’s to chart a path forward for the Club.”

The path forward for the A’s remains unclear.

Something’s gotta give for Oakland A’s

Oakland will continue looking at a stadium proposal that the A’s and MLB don’t support. While this is all part of negotiating, Las Vegas remains a viable opportunity for the A’s if the team decides to relocate.

Something has to give. None of the current scenarios seems entirely optimal for the A’s. The city of Oakland isn’t budging on the franchise’s dream stadium complex … yet. Las Vegas doesn’t have an MLB-ready stadium. Lastly, the A’s haven’t explored other cities for possible relocation.

All of this could change. Las Vegas could build a stadium complex for the A’s. The team could explore relocating to a different city. The city of Oakland could negotiate the current plan with the A’s to something viable for the team.

While we wait for a decision, Las Vegas residents and fans can continue to come up with fun Las Vegas A’s merchandising ideas.

Photo by AP / Tony Avelar
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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