Oakland A’s Las Vegas Stadium Financing Bill Approaches Finalization, New Renderings Released

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After months of will-they, won’t-they with local landowners and the Nevada legislature, the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team has finally submitted a clear financial proposal for its planned new Las Vegas stadium.

Senate Bill 509 will pass through the first stage of committees and public comment early this week. After that, it will need to go through the Nevada Senate and Assembly before it can be signed into law.

The bill sees the A’s asking for $380 million in public funding towards its planned $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat stadium, which it wants to build on the current site of Bally’s legendary Tropicana casino on the Las Vegas strip.

“We are excited to share our vision for the A’s potential new home,” said A’s team president Dave Kaval in an official statement.

Public Sentiment

The A’s have entered into a binding agreement with Bally’s on the sale of the Tropicana land on completion of legislative approval for the project.

They had previously signed a similar deal with Red Rock Resorts, which fell through for a number of reasons. Not least of all was some $100 million extra in public funding that the A’s would have asked for in that case.

“Thanks to the vision of Bally’s and GLPI, we have the opportunity to bring baseball to one of the most energetic locations in Las Vegas,” Kaval said in the press release.

“We hope our project goes beyond a traditional ballpark and serves as a catalyst for community development and engagement. It follows in the footsteps and success of the professional sports teams that come before us in creating union jobs, stimulating economic growth, and fostering investments in the community.”

It is interesting that Kaval highlighted union jobs. Las Vegas traditionally has a strong union presence, and Red Rock Resorts is one of the few casino operators that doesn’t have a good relationship with the powerful Culinary Workers Union’s local 226 chapter.

Having union members on its side for this development is important for the A’s, as the issue of public funding for a ballpark is a contentious one. Currently, 71% of Nevada residents who have responded to the opinion open call online say they oppose the stadium financing bill.

Under the plans, $90 million of Clark County’s loan for the stadium construction would be paid back directly from tax revenues. Another $120 million would be returned via the state’s taxation system. Another $25 million of the County’s money would be spent on upgrading infrastructure and public facilities around the site of the proposed ballpark.

Energetic Space

Despite the initial public reaction, the A’s are pushing ahead with preliminary designs. Schrock KC Architecture of Kansas will be handling the blueprints for the new stadium.

“From the minute we stepped onto the Tropicana site nearly two years ago, it was immediately obvious what a fantastic fit it would be for a new A’s ballpark in Las Vegas,” said Brad Schrock, head architect on the project.

“The natural orientation of the ballpark creates not only some of the best views and connection to the Las Vegas skyline from the seating bowl, but also opens up the ballpark to the corner in a way that creates opportunities for an amazing energetic public space with open and expansive views.”

Before any shovels can hit dirt and construction starts, the financing bill must be agreed upon. And that has to be before the June 5 closure of the legislative session for this year. Otherwise, the prospect of asking for a special legislative session looms. That’s something which lawmakers might not have much appetite for, especially given the initial public opinion on the bill.

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