Las Vegas Betting Favorite to Become New Home of Oakland A’s MLB Franchise

By | May 12, 2021

Las Vegas is on the shortlist to land the Oakland A’s MLB franchise. The team announced this week that it will explore a new home after city officials in the Bay Area once again failed to agree on terms to help build a long overdue and desperately needed new ballpark. 

Las Vegas Oakland A's MLB franchise
The exterior of the Oakland Coliseum, home to the A’s MLB team. The franchise is considering new home cities, including Las Vegas. (Image: Getty)

A’s billionaire John Fisher, whose parents founded the GAP clothing brand, said he’s searching for a city that is willing to invest in a new professional baseball venue. MLB said yesterday that the A’s current home — the Oakland Coliseum — “is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball.” 

The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark,” Fisher said in a statement. “Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB’s direction to explore other markets.”

One market that will be strongly considered is Las Vegas, the casino town that the “big four” major professional sports leagues in the US so long opposed before the federal ban on sports betting was lifted in May of 2018. The A’s former sister pro team — the Raiders — now calls the gambling mecca home. 

Stadium Financing

Fisher and the MLB have proposed building a $12 billion baseball ballpark and mixed-use complex at the Howard Terminal in Oakland. Along with a stadium, the pitch includes 3,000 affordable housing units, office and retail space, and a hotel.

The ballpark component would cost around $1 billion, and the A’s offered to predominantly fund it. However, the overall plan hasn’t received the support of the Oakland City Council. 

“We have an offer in front of the city council that we have not got a response on,” A’s President Dave Kaval told the Associated Press. “I think we’re still doing what we can to pursue the waterfront ballpark, which we think is a dynamic and exciting project. But we are running out of time here in Oakland at our existing facility, and we need to look at other options to see what might be possible.”

Clark County, home to downtown Las Vegas and the unincorporated Strip, provided $750 million to assist in the construction of the $1.9 billion NFL stadium. The rest of the Allegiant Stadium construction costs came from the Raiders and owner Mark Davis.

Nevada A’s

Located southeast of Las Vegas, Henderson says it’s interested in welcoming the A’s franchise. The Nevada city quietly tried to lure the Arizona Diamondbacks to town back in 2019. 

“We certainly had a proposal that we had put together for the Diamondbacks, and we could resurrect that and have a conversation,” Henderson Mayor Debra March told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I would be interested in having a conversation, certainly.”

Las Vegas or nearby Henderson, some say, makes sense for the A’s.

Las Vegas has long hosted a minor-league affiliate, and the legalization of gambling and continued existence of other pro sports teams without a headline-grabbing incident stemming from the city’s nightlife has presumably helped MLB warm up to the idea of doing business there,” writes R.J. Anderson for CBS Sports. “The Athletics would still make geographic sense for the American League West, which is a plus.”

Anderson ranks Las Vegas as the likeliest new home for the A’s, should they decide to move. 

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