Not a good time to be an Oakland sports fan
Las Vegas is set to get yet another professional sports team next year, as MLB’s A’s plan to relocate from Oakland to the gambling capital of the world following the upcoming season. One would think that those in charge in Las Vegas would be over the moon about it, but that might not necessarily be the case. On Tuesday, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said that the A’s “should figure out a way to stay in Oakland.”
Now, it’s not that Goodman is against the A’s moving to her city, it’s just that she seems to have reservations about the current situation. Speaking on the Front Office Sports Today podcast in an episode released Tuesday, she said, “I personally think [the A’s have] got to figure out a way to stay in Oakland to make their dream come true.”
“[The A’s] really want to stay in Oakland. They want to be on the water,” Goodman said, referring to a $12 billion plan for a ballpark village on 55 acres at Howard Terminal. “They have that magnificent dream and yet they can’t get it done.
“I just think there’s an appetite [in Oakland]. I run into people from Oakland all the time. They want to keep the team and it’s just the government up there. It costs money. … I love the people from Oakland. I think they deserve to have their team.”
Now, the “it’s just the government” isn’t quite accurate, considering Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao worked hard to get a deal done with A’s owner John Fisher and was only about $36 million away from securing all the financing needed. But you can read all about that in ESPN’s in-depth piece from September.
So regardless of who Goodman things is “at fault” in the A’s situation, she seems to have empathy for the city of Oakland and A’s fans, perhaps thinking about what it would be like if, say, the NHL’s Golden Knights moved out of Las Vegas. Plus, Oakland has had it rough lately, as both the NBA’s Warriors and NFL’s Raiders have departed since 2019 (at least the Warriors only moved across the bay to San Francisco – the Raiders are in Las Vegas).
On social media later, Goodman clarified that she is “excited about the prospect of Major League Baseball” in Las Vegas, even if she would like to see the A’s work something out with Oakland.
Questions about the stadium plan
Goodman also has trepidation about the current $1.5 billion stadium plan on the site of the Tropicana.
“There are a lot of questions about whether that’s going to fit,” she told Front Office Sports Today, adding that the plan “does not make sense.”
The stadium is slated for nine acres of the property on which the Tropicana currently sits, partially funded by a $380 million public financing package. The A’s franchise will foot the rest of the bill. A more expansive entertainment district is planned for the future. Bally’s recently announced that the Tropicana will close on April 2 so that the demolition process can began to make way for the new stadium.
The stadium will not be completed until 2028. In the meantime, the A’s still have to find a place to play for three seasons after leaving Oakland.