A Potential Roadblock To The Move Of John Fisher’s MLB Team From Oakland To Las Vegas?

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A’s lobbyists want to stop a petition drive asking Nevada residents to vote on state aid for Fisher’s planned Las Vegas stadium.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, a Harvard Law School grad who claimed he knew very little about the negotiations between Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher and the city of Oakland in Fisher’s quest for a new baseball facility in the city, is concerned about a Nevada school teachers union attempt to block state funding of a potential Las Vegas stadium for Fisher’s business. Manfred wanted to get the Fisher business out of Oakland and on its way to Las Vegas by mid-November. But there may be a fly in the ointment. Schools Over Stadiums wants to collect signatures for a petition which would give Nevada voters a chance to say yes or no to the state handing $380 million over to Fisher to help pay for his Las Vegas MLB stadium. If the petition drive is successful, a vote would be held on November 5th, 2024 which would drastically impact the Las Vegas stadium building timeline. Schools Over Stadiums was served a lawsuit on September 26th by “representatives with ties to the A’s” over its referendum petition seeking to stop state tax funding for stadium bonds. The representatives include Fisher hired lobbyists. A lawsuit asking a court to drop the petition due to technical deficiencies will be heard on November 6th according to the teachers union.

Manfred is having a difficult time dealing with Fisher’s business situation. If things go awry in MLB’s viewpoint, if state money is temporarily unavailable or is never available for Fisher that is a major problem. “If there was a negative development regarding this referendum, that would be a significant development,” Manfred said. “That’s all I can say.” Fisher’s initial Las Vegas stadium plan fell apart. A new plan was quickly developed. The teachers are against it and MLB is fuming.

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FILE – This rendering provided by the Oakland Athletics and BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group shows an elevated view of the baseball club’s proposed new at Howard Terminal in Oakland, Calif. The Howard Terminal deal fell apart and owner John Fisher decided to take his business to Las Vegas. (Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group/Oakland Athletics via AP, File)