The Oakland A’s have reportedly reached an agreement with the Nevada governor’s office, the state Treasurer, and Clark County on a plan to fund a prospective baseball stadium in Las Vegas. No financial figures have been made public yet, but now the funding bill will move to the state legislature, where it must be approved by the Senate and Assembly.
“This agreement follows months of negotiations between the state, the county, and the A’s, and I believe it gives us a tremendous opportunity to continue building on the professional sports infrastructure of southern Nevada,” said Governor Joe Lombardo in a statement. “Las Vegas is clearly a sports town, and Major League Baseball should be a part of it.”
Not only is Las Vegas a sports town, it will be the smallest market in Major League Baseball and, according to ESPN, the smallest to have three major professional sports teams.
And it has all happened very quickly. Las Vegas was never really much of a consideration for a major league team in any sport for decades, not just because of the size of the market, but because of gambling. Leagues just wanted to stay away from it.
But despite the size, Las Vegas has money. The city got its first major pro team, the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights, in 2017. The NFL’s Raiders moved from Oakland in 2020, and now it looks like the A’s will make Las Vegas their home in the coming years. On top of those teams, the WNBA’s Stars moved from San Antonio to Las Vegas in 2018, renamed themselves to the Aces, and won the title last season.
In April, the A’s signed a deal with Red Rock Resorts to buy land where the Wild Wild West casino used to sit. The team was looking for a $500 public funding deal for a new stadium that would have involved the establishment of special tax district and the issuance of 30-year bonds.
Earlier this month, though, the team apparently dumped that deal for a new one with Bally’s to purchase 35 acres at the current Tropicana casino and hotel site on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. The Trop would be demolished to make way for a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat stadium.
One of the upshots of the Bally’s deal is that the A’s aren’t looking for as much public money now, dropping their asking price to $395 million.
Once the A’s leave for Las Vegas, Oakland will no longer have a major professional sports franchise. As mention, the Raiders are already in Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors moved across the bay to San Francisco in 2019.
Image credit: Flickr.com / Michael Tipton