Oakland A's New Stadium Agreement in Las Vegas Besieged by Curveballs

(AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

With two weeks until the end of Nevada’s legislative session, a bill has not been introduced regarding the Oakland A’s baseball team’s relocation to Las Vegas.


A “binding” agreement was reached with Bally’s last week to build a $1.5 billion 30,000-seat stadium with a partially retractable roof at the location of the Tropicana Casino Resort.

Originally, the A’s set their sights on a 49-acre parcel situated at the intersection of Tropicana Blvd. and Dean Martin Drive as their new stadium location. Red Rock Resorts Inc. had agreed to sell the property to the A’s and the team stipulated that Clark County needed to approve $500 million in tax credits to support the development. Due to opposition to public funding, the A’s forged a partnership with Bally’s to demolish the Tropicana Resort on the Southern Las Vegas Strip, thus reducing their request for public funding to $395 million.

The powerful Culinary Union is reported to have played a role in killing the prior agreement with Red Rock Resorts because some of their properties are not unionized. More accurately, the union and Red Rock have been locked in legal battles and are being forced to negotiate a contract… that the bargaining unit didn’t actually vote for. 

Monday, reports broke that Nevada lawmakers would not go higher than $175 million in financing, leaving a gap of $220 million expected to come from Clark County bonds. This number is $20 million below what the state was reported to be willing to offer before the weekend, $195 million in transferable tax credits.


Clark County has been hesitant toward bonding the sum, which is expected to be generated through tax revenues by the ballpark. The county is concerned about depleting the reserve funds in the event the tax revenues fall short of covering the bond repayments. This scenario was realized during the pandemic shutdowns; a tax imposed on hotel rooms to fund the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium did not cover the payments and had to come from the county reserve fund. 

Keeping in line with his campaign trail promises to never raise taxes, Governor Joe Lombardo has signaled his support is contingent on a plan that doesn’t result in new or higher taxation. 

While the A’s journey to Vegas may be besieged by curveballs, they are also on track to have one of the worst seasons in MLB history, attendance has been as low as 2,064 fans per game (4 percent of the Coliseum’s seating capacity), and loyalists lament owner John Fisher on social media. 


But, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao sees the opportunity to keep the A’s in The Town, saying on Thursday that they are very close to a deal:

Howard Terminal, it’s already entitled. And so I want the A’s to stay here If the owners called us back and say, ‘Let’s get back to the table,’ we are very close to a deal.

While stadium negotiations are time-sensitive, as the Nevada legislative session nears its end, it is still possible for the issue to be raised in a speculated special session—called by the governor if the state budget is not satisfactory and is vetoed. 


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