Posted on: June 15, 2023, 07:14h.
Last updated on: June 15, 2023, 07:14h.
UPDATE: Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo on Thursday signed Senate Bill 1, which provides $380 million in public funding to build a $1.5 million baseball stadium on the Las Vegas Strip for the Oakland Athletics. This leaves only one hurdle left, the approval of major-league owners, which is considered a virtual certainty.
EARLIER: The Las Vegas A’s are just two hurdles away from becoming official, and those hurdles are very low.
Both houses of the Nevada Legislature have now approved $380 million in taxpayer money to fund a new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics in Las Vegas. That leaves only a signature from Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) and the approval of major-league owners, each of which is virtually assured. Lombardo is the one who introduced the bill now requiring his signature, and the owners are tired of dealing with the stalemate in Oakland.
Senate Bill 1, formerly known as Senate Bill 509 before the legislation failed during the regular session, was approved 25-15 by the Assembly on Wednesday. That’s after the Senate passed it 13-8 on Tuesday, just hours before the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup.
The passage follows nearly a week of grueling negotiations during which the bill was amended several times to secure the necessary votes. Among the changes were a guarantee from the Athletics of $2 million in annual community benefits, and an amendment expanding paid family and medical leave.
The new stadium, which will seat 30K under a retractable roof, is expected to open in 2028. The A’s will pay the balance of its projected $1.5 billion construction cost, plus overruns.
Where We Sit
The stadium will require the demolition of the 66-year-old Tropicana, one of the oldest casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. As part of the deal, the owner of the site, Bally’s Corporation, will give the A’s the land for free. The team will then transfer ownership of the land to a public agency so as to not have to pay property tax. The agency will then lease the land to the team for free.
The team will let its lease on the Oakland Coliseum expire at the end of the 2024 season. Then they will share a field with the Las Vegas Aviators, their own Triple-A affiliate, until construction on their new stadium is complete. Though Summerlin Ballpark sports only 10K seats, the A’s have sold an average of 9,137 tickets per game this season.
At 19 wins and 50 losses, the A’s are not only the worst team in major league baseball, they’re one of the worst in baseball history, barely keeping ahead of the dismal 1939 St. Louis Browns’ monumentally bad 43 wins and 111 losses.
The last time an MLB baseball team relocated was in 2004. That’s when the Montreal Expos went to Washington, DC, where they played in a temporary home for three seasons while awaiting construction of their new ballpark.