MLB’s Oakland A’s are reportedly eyeing the Tropicana in Las Vegas as the site for a new stadium if the team relocates to Nevada. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A central location
Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland A’s reportedly want the Tropicana Casino on the Las Vegas Strip to be the site for their new stadium, should the team move to Vegas. A CNBC report on Wednesday revealed that the team is looking to build the stadium on this 34-acre site; Bally’s Corporation is currently in the process of acquiring the hotel-casino operations of the Tropicana. Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc (GLPI), a real estate investment trust (REIT), still owns the Tropicana’s real estate assets.
For this deal to go ahead, the team would need to make an offer for the Tropicana site and figure out the public-private financing plan for building the stadium.
the team has failed to secure a development agreement with the City of Oakland
The league already gave the Oakland A’s the green light in May to consider making a move from its current base in California to Las Vegas. The Coliseum, the team’s current stadium, is 56 years old and is regarded as one of the worst stadiums in sports. The team failed to secure a development agreement with the City of Oakland for a new baseball park on the waterfront, so it began to look at out-of-state opportunities, including in Nevada, Nashville, and Portland.
Many potential options
Other sites that have reportedly been under consideration by the A’s include Wynn Resorts’ golf course and a Caesars Entertainment lot, though the latter has reportedly bowed out of the running. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said that the team had also been looking at a 100-acre site where the Red Rock Resorts-owned Wild Wild West Casino currently operates.
There was also a site under consideration near the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ (UNLV) Thomas and Mack Center, but the Federal Aviation Administration rejected this plan as the site is too close to the McCarran International Airport.
The Oakland A’s have one of baseball’s smallest payrolls and often have large player turnover. They have won the World Series nine times, the last occasion being in 1989. The organization has a Triple-A affiliate in Nevada, the Las Vegas Aviators.
Despite the interest in other locations, it looks like the A’s are focusing their attention on the Tropicana. Bally’s Corporation confirmed in April that it would be taking over the operations of the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, signing a 50-year lease at $10.5m per year. The casino had been under the operation of Penn National Gaming. It is one of the oldest resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, having opened in 1957. The acquisition completion date is set for early next year.
Bringing another major league team to Sin City
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak confirmed that he has had numerous conversations over the past year with Oakland A’s representatives about a potential stadium. The team has been looking at many different potential sites for the possible 35,000 seat stadium, including the Las Vegas Strip, Summerlin, Henderson, and other regions across the valley. Sisolak has confirmed that the team has made some general inquiries regarding potential public financing for the project.
the second Oakland-based major league sports team to make this transition
If the A’s ultimately move to Las Vegas, it will make it the second Oakland-based major league sports team to make this transition. The NFL’s Oakland Raiders moved to Sin City in 2020, opening its $2bn, 65,000-seat stadium just off the Las Vegas Strip. About $750m of the costs to build Allegiant Stadium came from a 6.5% increase in taxes on hotel rooms. Governor Sisolak has confirmed that there will not be a further hike in these taxes to help build an MLB stadium. However, Governor Sisolak noted that there are other forms of public financing that the team might consider.
Allegiant Stadium was built with more public money than any other US stadium project.
The first major league sports team to set up shop in Las Vegas was the Las Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL. This newly-formed franchise joined the NHL in 2017 and plays its games in the T-Mobile Arena. Oakland has also lost its NBA team to San Francisco in recent years, with the star-studded Golden State Warriors making the move across the bay in 2019.