The Oakland Athletics signed a binding purchase agreement for land, to build a 30,000-seat, partially retractable roof major-league ballpark on April 20. The plot of land located west of the Strip is about 49 acres and was owned by Red Rock, Station Casinos’ parent company.
“I didn’t think it was gonna happen,” Terrel Emerson, creator of Talk That Talk Media Company said. “I had a conversation with Aviators President Donald Logan. I told him they would have to produce something close to a billion-dollar stadium, and sure enough, Las Vegas and everybody else made it happen.”
The stadium will be located west of the Strip over Interstate 15 at Dean Martin Drive and Tropicana Avenue and will be a $1.5 billion project to build.
“We support the A’s turning their focus on Las Vegas and look forward to them bringing finality to this process by the end of the year,” the commissioner of the MLB Rob Manfred said in a statement provided to and first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“It’s certainly an exciting time in Vegas made even more so by the A’s announcement,” broadcaster for the Las Vegas Aviators and UNLV Hustlin’ Rebels Matt Neverett said. “The biggest area I’ll be keeping an eye on in the near future are the plans for where the Athletics will play in 2025-26 because their lease at the Coliseum ends after the 2024 season.”
The Athletics’ lease at its current stadium, the Oakland Coliseum, expires after the 2024 season and the major league team was unable to strike a deal with the city of Oakland to build a waterfront stadium at Jack London Square.
The proposal by the Athletics to the city of Oakland was for a waterfront ballpark privately financed with a capacity of 34,000 people. The proposal included adding parks, housing and retail outlets.
The Athletics President Dave Kaval said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on April 19 that the team has not been on the same page as Oakland for a long time and Southern Nevada brings stability to the team.
“For a while we were on parallel paths [with Oakland], but we have turned our attention to Las Vegas to get a deal here for the A’s and to find a long-term home,” Kaval said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Emerson believes that the Athletics tried to stay in Oakland, however, the communication between the team and the city was the reason why the Athletics plan to relocate.
“They absolutely tried to stay in Oakland,” said Emerson. “I think it’s very obvious that there was a lack of communication between the city of Oakland and the Athletics organization.”
Sam Merkel, an Athletics fan and resident of Northern California, is disappointed that the Athletics are leaving Oakland behind without giving an effort to create a competitive team.
“The management doesn’t seem to want to put any money into keeping the team competitive. It’s reflected in the state of the team,” Merkel said. “It’s hard to see a team give up on their fan base.”
The Oakland Athletics in the 2022 season finished with a 60-102 record placing them at the bottom of the AL West. In the 2022 season, 11 MLB players got paid more money than the entire Athletics players’ payroll.
The purchase of the land is the first indication of the Athletics relocation to Southern Nevada. If the stadium gets approved by the MLB and the local government, the Athletics would plan to break ground in 2024.
“While the announcement the other day certainly provides an Avenue for a new stadium that had not previously been laid down, there are still more questions than answers in the short-to-medium term that need to be answered,” Neverett said.