Fisher Hires Lobbyists In An Effort To Get Money For A Las Vegas A’s Stadium

It is not quite bribery but lobbyists have a job to do.

In some sense, you have to admire the brinkmanship of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher. The Oakland baseball team owner is raising the stakes in the Oakland versus Las Vegas pursuit of his business by hiring a team of lobbyists whose sole job is to pressure Nevada politicians to give him public funding to build a Las Vegas stadium. One of the lobbyists is Athletics team president Dave Kaval whose address is listed as the Oakland Coliseum. The lobbyists will bother and nag politicians but do it in a clever way like taking them out to a nice dinner or perhaps sharing a suite at a National Hockey League Vegas Golden Knights game. That is what lobbyists do. Fisher’s team of lobbyists will do whatever is best for John Fisher and not necessarily worry about the consequences for Nevada taxpayers. But they will try and appeal to Nevada taxpayers by claiming a public-private partnership to fund a Las Vegas stadium will be best for all residents in the state, even those who are not nearby in Carson City, Reno or even Virginia City.

But Fisher’s business is still in Oakland and there is the matter of Fisher’s desire to build a stadium-village on the Oakland waterfront in a public-private partnership. Fisher wants the project on the waterfront even though he could build a stadium-village on the property that presently houses his business. But neither Fisher nor Major League Baseball is interested in that parcel of land which comes complete with a Bay Area Rapid Transit stop and a nearby interstate highway. The Oakland waterfront property does not have nearby mass transit or a freeway and that will make it tougher for customers to attend games. The hiring of a group of lobbyists is a logical step for Fisher in the stadium contest.

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Oakland Athletics’ Christian Bethancourt (23) reacts after striking out next to Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado for the final out of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)