Last week, the Oakland Athletics sent a signal to the world that the Major League Baseball team will be moving to Las Vegas. The team made a binding deal to purchase 49 acres of land near the Vegas Strip from Red Rock Resorts (Station Casinos).
Neither the team nor the Las Vegas casino operator revealed the price of the land or the timeline on when a sale might happen. According to JMP Securities gaming analyst Jordan Bender, Station Casinos could collect $150 million for the land.
This move has been rumored for a couple of years, but it’s still closer to the beginning than to the end.
Where the A’s stadium will be built
The A’s binding agreement to purchase land from Station Casinos is just west of the I-15 on Tropicana. This used to be home to Wild Wild West Casino, which closed last year.
Station Casinos still owns 50 acres of land adjacent to the parcel it plans to sell to the A’s. The company hasn’t revealed plans on whether or not it will develop or sell the remaining land.
It’s possible Station Casinos could build a casino and hotel on the property. The Las Vegas locals casino operator could also sell the remaining land and let another company deal with the development. This would give Station Casinos money to fund a new Henderson casino. Station Casinos’ last attempt to operate a casino near the Vegas Strip ended when the company sold Palms.
At this time, The Orleans would be the closest casino to the A’s stadium. The Boyd Gaming casino is approximately a one-mile walk west of the planned location for the stadium. This could become an interesting twist in the A’s land deal.
Reports about the cost of the MLB stadium range from $1 billion to $1.6 billion. It’s also possible that other venues such as a concert amphitheater could be included in the project.
It’s just the beginning of a years-long process
There are several steps before the Oakland A’s can officially plan for life as the Las Vegas A’s. The binding agreement to buy the land for a stadium is just the beginning. The team is currently negotiating for assistance in building a 35,000-capacity stadium down the street from Allegiant Stadium.
Once the stadium deal is negotiated, the A’s must receive permission from MLB to move. This is all but certain as MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he supports the Athletics relocating to Las Vegas.
Once the stadium deal is secured and MLB approves the move, the A’s will likely close the deal to purchase the land and move forward.
But wait … there’s more!
The Athletics’ lease to play home games at Oakland Coliseum ends after the 2024 season. If all goes as planned, the Athletics’ stadium in Las Vegas won’t be ready until 2027.
Finding a temporary home
If the A’s don’t secure a two-year lease to play in California during construction, they could play home games in Las Vegas. They could play at the field where their Triple-A team, the Las Vegas Aviators, play, at Las Vegas Ball Park in Summerlin. It currently seats 10,000.
If this happens, renovations will have to be made at the stadium, which opened in 2019. The one major change would be swapping out the grass field for artificial turf. Keeping grass in pristine condition for another 81 games would be nearly impossible with the summer temperatures in Las Vegas.
There would also need to be infrastructure changes to bring the stadium up to MLB specifications.
A’s looking for $600K in public assistance to build stadium
Before MLB gives the A’s permission to leave Oakland, the team must have a deal in place to build a stadium. It’s likely this will also preclude the A’s finalizing the land purchase from Station Casinos.
The A’s will pay $1 billion toward a new MLB stadium in Las Vegas. The team is looking for approximately $600,000 in public assistance to completely fund the stadium.
Specifics on the public financing for a stadium haven’t been negotiated yet. There are a lot of possibilities floating around. The most popular idea appears to be expanding the Stadium District around Allegiant Stadium to the land where the A’s stadium would be built. This plan was originally approved in 2021.
Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft told KNTV Las Vegas that it’s a possibility.
“This is largely about utilizing any new taxes that are coming from that stadium district.”
He says it would not be a tax money giveaway. Clark County would seek a return on its investment. The goal is to have a plan that would be ready before the current legislation session ends in June.
A’s strike labor union deal on stadium construction
While the A’s don’t have a financial plan for the stadium yet, the team does have a deal with the union that would build the stadium. Last week, the A’s and Southern Nevada Building Trades reached a Project Labor Agreement to build the new stadium.
Vince Saavedra, executive secretary-treasurer for the union, is excited about the project.
“Our members are ready and eager to get to work on this project. And we look forward to partnering with the A’s to create a state-of-the-art stadium.”
Can the A’s build a team that locals will rally behind?
The A’s are really just getting started in their journey to move to Las Vegas. There should be plenty of movement over the next couple of months.
Once the negotiations are done, there will be a lull before construction on the new MLB stadium is slated to begin next year.
After all of this off-the-field work is done, it will be time to discuss whether or not the A’s will build an MLB franchise that Las Vegas residents will support.