Rio Emerges As Potential Site For MLB Stadium In Las Vegas

Written By Marc Meltzer on February 27, 2023
rio las vegas baseball stadium

Las Vegas remains a possibility to become the new home of the Oakland A’s. The Major League Baseball (MLB) team is still negotiating a deal for a new stadium. The A’s have been exploring Las Vegas as a potential new home for the past couple of years.

Rob Manfred, the commissioner of MLB, says the team is currently focused on Las Vegas while Oakland still considers the plan for a new stadium. The long-rumored site at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has reemerged as a possible location for a new MLB stadium in the Nevada gambling hotbed.

The A’s are continuing their “parallel negotiation” strategy with Oakland and Las Vegas for a new baseball stadium. The team’s current lease at RingCentral Coliseum ends after the 2024 MLB season so time is of the essence.

As it turns out, the A’s search is taking so long that the team will likely have to play in a temporary location in 2025. A new stadium might not be built and ready for the season.

Potential A’s Stadium Sites

The team has been negotiating with Oakland to build a new stadium as part of a massive Waterfront Ball Park District for more than a year. The A’s are also considering different location options for a new Las Vegas baseball stadium if the team decides to leave Oakland.

The A’s previously ruled out upgrading the existing Las Vegas Ballpark where its AAA affiliate plays. The team is still considering land where the Tropicana remains as a potential site for an MLB stadium.

Treasure Island and Circus Circus owner Phil Ruffin doesn’t seem inclined to sell his Las Vegas Festival Grounds land at Sahara on the Vegas Strip although he hasn’t commented publicly on the matter. Wynn Resorts says there’s no truth to the rumor that the company will sell land it owns across the street from its Vegas Strip property.

While hopes of finding a premier location for on the Vegas Strip are limited there might be ample land for a stadium a few minutes away from the main Las Vegas tourist corridor.

Rio Land May Be Available For A’s

There has been no shortage of rumors about the future of Rio over the past decade. The rumors heated up in 2014 when a gossip columnist in Las Vegas tweeted an unsourced rumor alluding to the potential sale of the property.

While that rumor wasn’t true, it started what became a cottage industry for Rio rumors. Caesars finally sold the Rio in 2019. The company signed a lease to continue operating the casino for three years so the new owners Dreamscape put together a plan for the future of the property.

Dreamscape will take over operations of the Rio this year. Since the company purchased the property it has been coming up with plans for the future.

Stadium Won’t Affect Rio’s Casino And Hotel

Evidently, the new owners of Rio and its surrounding land have been talking to the A’s about using some of the land for an MLB stadium. A spokesperson for Dreamscape Properties said:

“the company has been engaged in a dialogue about a portion of the excess land at the Rio as a potential MLB ballpark for the past several years. The company remains open to this idea.”

The reality is that Rio sits on 88.5 acres of land just west of the I-15. There is plenty of room to build an MLB stadium without touching the casino and hotel towers.

While Rio is a large casino hotel, a lot of the land is vacant and used for parking. One of the Rio/MLB stadium rumors in 2019 stated that there would be 19 acres carved out for the stadium.

It’s strange that Dreamscape nor the A’s have mentioned this over the past two years. That’s a story for another day. There’s plenty of land on the site of the Rio for an MLB stadium.

Whether it happens or not is another story. Stay tuned! The saga of the A’s possibly moving to Las Vegas should come to an end sooner than later.

Dreamscape Secures Financing For Renovations

Dreamscape Companies recently secured $850 million in financing. Part of this money will go towards a multi-phase renovation of the property that will be known as “Rio Hotel & Casino Las Vegas” moving forward.

The company plans to keep the bones of the Rio intact. The property will be updated with modern amenities and new venues that are more aligned with today’s travelers. Dreamscape hasn’t announced too many specifics that will change at Rio in the future.

Rio + Hyatt Hotels

Last year the company announced a partnership with Hyatt Hotels.

Kimo Bertram, Hyatt’s vice president of real estate and development said:

“We are thrilled that Dreamscape will help us bring multiple Hyatt full-service brands to Las Vegas, starting with a Hyatt Regency hotel, which we believe will deliver on the Hyatt Regency brand promise of creating meaningful connections in modern spaces designed for sharing, socializing, and collaborating.

We know Las Vegas is an important destination for our guests, World of Hyatt members, and customers, and this project is a significant step for Hyatt as we continue to grow our brands in markets that matter most to our loyal travelers.”

The Rio will be renovated and rebranded into multiple Hyatt full-service brands. One hotel tower will become a 1,501-room Hyatt Regency hotel. The hotel rooms will average 580 square feet. While “suites” will be removed from the name, the room sizes should be the same.

The other hotel tower will be “branded or affiliated” with at least one other Hyatt brand.

Resorts World Las Vegas has a similar partnership with a different hotel brand – Hilton. The property has hotel rooms under the Hilton, Conrad, and Crockfords brands. Each offers a different price point and room product.

Rio will remain open while the company updates the casino, restaurants, bars, retail, and pool deck. There’s no timeline for how long the renovation will take.

Photo by Shutterstock
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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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