Oakland A’s billionaire owner John Fisher and his right-hand man, Dave Kaval, are back in Las Vegas this week for further discussions about relocating the MLB team to Southern Nevada.
The casino capital of the nation was long snubbed by the big four — the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. The pro leagues believed Las Vegas and Nevada’s widespread legal sports betting posed great risk to the integrity of their games.
Those attitudes changed greatly after the US Supreme Court’s May 2018 landmark decision that repealed the federal ban on sports gambling. That law had limited such betting everywhere outside of Nevada. A little more than three years later, and Las Vegas is home not only to countless sports betting locations, but also three professional sports teams.
The NFL Las Vegas Raiders highlight the trio. But the NHL Vegas Golden Knights have become the locals’ favorite team to cheer on. The Knights share their T-Mobile Arena home just off the Strip with the WNBA Las Vegas Aces.
A’s Seek Grade A Ballpark
The Oakland A’s have been in long, contentious discussions with the City of Oakland regarding a new ballpark. Its present venue — the Oakland Coliseum — is no longer a feasible site for MLB games.
MLB said earlier this year that the Coliseum “is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball.”
Transforming Las Vegas into a sports town, an undertaking that has already made great strides with the Raiders and Golden Knights, is expected to increase tourism to Southern Nevada. The Raiders’ $2 billion Allegiant Stadium will bring new sports fans to town for at least eight NFL games a year. Allegiant Stadium is within walking distance to the Strip.
The Raiders’ first year in Las Vegas was without fans because of COVID-19. But this year’s slate of games will benefit the area economy by way of increased hotel stays, food and beverage sales, retail shopping, and casino revenue.
Fisher and A’s President Kaval, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, are set to visit additional potential sites to build an MLB ballpark. The team and league say the stadium would need some 30,000 seats, and would likely cost in the neighborhood of $1 billion.
The A’s brass are also scheduled to meet with local officials, as well as sports and hospitality analysts, architectural firms, business leaders, and union reps.
Las Vegas Betting Favorite
With the Oakland A’s and Oakland no closer to reaching financing terms for a new MLB ballpark, the odds are bettering that Southern Nevada will be home to three of the big four in the coming years.
However, Las Vegas isn’t the only candidate for the A’s to move. Other interested cities include Portland, Nashville, Montreal, and Charlotte.
But DraftKings says Vegas is the front-runner. The sportsbook earlier this year released hypothetical odds — aka odds you can’t bet on with the sportsbook — and Las Vegas was the favorite at +200. That implies a chance of 33.33 percent.
The team’s lease at the Coliseum is to run through the 2024 season.
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