MLB Owners Unanimously Approve A’s Move to Las Vegas
On Thursday morning, Major League Baseball’s owners gave unanimous approval for John Fisher to move the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas. All that was needed was 75% in a vote that was never in serious doubt. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred came out strongly in favor of the move, which set the course for easy approval by baseball’s other 29 owners.
The A’s will play next season in Oakland, and considering how bad their attendance was this past season – they averaged 10,275 fans per game – next year will probably sink to even lower depths. And the many signs of protest from long-suffering A’s fans are likely to become even more creative.
The A’s lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires after the 2024 season, and the team isn’t sure where it will play next. The plan is to be in Las Vegas and in a new stadium by 2028. But for the 2025-2027 seasons, right now there is no solid plan.
MLB owner approval was just one step in making the move to Las Vegas official. Nevada governor Joe Lombardo signed a bill back in June that will give the A’s $380 million in public funding for a new stadium. But there is an effort in Nevada, backed by the teachers, to put that funding to a public vote next November.
New Las Vegas Stadium Still an Unknown
Last May, the team released new stadium renderings that stoked excitement and got fans in Las Vegas ready to have their own major League team. But in July, the A’s admitted that the drawings that were released were not an actual plan.
The drawings, however, did their job, and the public financing was approved.
There is also a great deal of private financing that still needs to be secured. The entire project is expected to cost $1.5 billion, and even though in the end, the $380 million in public financing is expected to end up being more, there is still quite a financing gap to be filled.
There are also real concerns about the construction site and its limitations. The site of the old Tropicana hotel is just nine acres, which would make the stadium and the stadium site one of the smallest in baseball. And what makes that problematic for the A’s is the inability to construct a dome or retractable roof on such a small site, which would be a requirement for baseball in Las Vegas in August.
And there are the questions about leaving the Bay Area in California, which is the 10th-largest television market in the country, and going to the 40th-largest television market. However, as more and more baseball teams are teaming up with sports betting partners, being in Las Vegas and having access to Nevada online sportsbooks may fill in that revenue gap.
Adding to the Las Vegas Sports Scene
Assuming the teacher’s union isn’t successful in scuttling the public funds and the private financing is enough to cover the rest, the A’s will become the first Major League Baseball team to relocate since the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
The A’s would be the fourth professional sports team to make Las Vegas home, joining the Raiders of the NFL, the Golden Knights of the NHL, and the Aces of the WNBA. Both the Golden Knights and Aces are the reigning champions in their sports.
The PGA Tour also makes an annual stop in Las Vegas to play the Shriners Children’s Open. The NASCAR Cup Series races twice a year in Las Vegas, and Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix is this coming weekend.
Place your bets at your favorite F1 online sportsbook.
In early odds to win the 2024 World Series, BetUS.com has the A’s dead last in baseball at +25000. In other words, they have a snowball’s chance in Las Vegas.