Bally’s to Demolish Tropicana for New Las Vegas Major League Baseball Stadium
After many months of speculation, the deal for the Oakland Athletics MLB franchise to move to Las Vegas is one step closer to completion.
A proposed site for a new 30k-seater Las Vegas ballpark that will be built for the A’s is close to finalization. Unfortunately for the Tropicana, the third-oldest resort on the Las Vegas Strip, it sits on the chosen land.
Tropicana operators Bally’s Corporation sent internal communications to employees on Monday, informing them that the casino will close in the next 18 to 24 months.
Shortly after that, Bally’s also posted a press release confirming the rumored news we reported last week, that it had reached a binding agreement with the Oakland A’s and landowner Gaming and Leisure Properties to build the ballpark.
However, a similar binding agreement was reached with Red Rock Resorts on a 49-acre strip of Las Vegas land just a few weeks ago. That has now been quietly reneged on.
Any stadium build still needs regulatory approval from local, state, and baseball authorities, which may not happen until June at the earliest. That includes signing off on $395 million of public financing, although that part of the deal is expected to go through sooner.
Despite the potential pitfalls before the stadium can even break ground, Bally’s President George Papanier gave no uncertain terms about the project’s future.
“We are honored to have been selected to partner with the Oakland Athletics on this monumental step in helping to bring Major League Baseball to the great city of Las Vegas, and to be a part of the once-in-a-generation opportunity,” he said.
He also nodded to the Tropicana site and its nearly 70-year history.
“The Tropicana has been a landmark of Las Vegas for generations, and this development will enhance this iconic site for generations to come. We are committed to ensuring that the development and ballpark built in its place will become a new landmark,” he said.
In addition to the stadium, Bally’s intends to build a new 1500-room hotel and casino resort on the property.
Staff were initially not given any concrete information on transferring jobs or time lines. However, a second statement was hastily put out on Tuesday.
“Current employees will be given preference on employment opportunities, and Bally’s will maintain employee seniority” it said.
Bally’s also reminded employees that plans are “in the preliminary stages and not finalized for a ballpark yet.”
Workers are Protected
The Culinary Union, local chapter 226, has represented employees at the Tropicana since 1957.
It told its affected members that “Culinary Union members at the Tropicana Casino have a strong union contract, which means that Tropicana workers are protected,” read a statement from Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge.
The Culinary Union is also looking to represent any Oakland A’s workers who may move to the site if and when a ballpark does open.
The Tropicana opened in 1957. It became such an iconic fixture of the neighborhood that the nearby Bond Road was renamed Tropicana Avenue.
Only The Flamingo, opened in1946, and the Sahara, opened in 1952, are older Las Vegas casino resorts.
Last year, Bally’s paid real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties $148 million for the Tropicana building and the rights to operate the resort.