Happy Death Day

The next step in the Oakland A’s relocation to Las Vegas will happen in about two months. Bally’s has announced that it will close the Tropicana on April 2 to prepare it for demolition to clear the way for the A’s new stadium. The date is one day before the Tropicana’s 67th birthday.

The entire demolition process, from emptying out the stadium to cleanup, is expected to take anywhere from nine months to a year.

Bally’s said it will help the 700 Tropicana employees who will be affected by the closure, including offering severance packages and jobs at other Bally’s properties.

Bally’s acquired the Tropicana from Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI) in the spring of 2021 for $150 million. GLPI still owes the land on which the Trop sits – Bally’s agreed to pay $10.5 million in rent every year for 50 years.

In May of last year, Bally’s announced that it was going to raze the Tropicana for the new A’s stadium. Current plans are to build a $1.5 billion 33,000-seat ballpark on nine acres of the 34-acre site. That land, of course, is being contributed by GLPI, since they own it. Construction will begin next year and is supposed to be completed in time for the start of the 2028 Major League Baseball season.

Still a work in progress

Shortly after it was announced that that the Trop would be demolished, the A’s agreed to a financing deal for the stadium. Pending the finalization of multiple ballpark agreements with the Las Vegas Stadium authority, the A’s will get $380 million in public financing for the venue while paying the remaining $1 billion.

In April 2023, it looked like the entire stadium situation was going to be different. The A’s had signed a deal with Red Rock Resorts to buy the land upon which the Wild Wild West Casino used to be. The team also wanted $500 million in public funding. But then came the Bally’s/Tropicana deal and with it, a drop in its public financing asking price, likely because the location on the Strip was more attractive.

Once plans for the stadium are settled, Bally’s will work on plans for a casino resort on the rest of the land.

The A’s will embark on their final season in Oakland this spring, the team’s home since 1968. Naturally, this means that it will need somewhere to play as the Las Vegas A’s from 2025 to 2027 while the new stadium is being built. Right now, that venue is up in the air. Some Las Vegas-area ballparks are in the mix, but the A’s could potentially play for three seasons somewhere other than Las Vegas entirely. Possible temporary landing spots they are considering include Reno, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, and even San Francisco, sharing Oracle Park with the Giants.

Image credit: Jared via Flickr

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