Oakland may have hit a speed bump in its pursuit to keep the team.
Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher might not put a competitive team on the field this year but Fisher and his team president Dave Kaval are putting on a clinic in how to play the stadium game. The pair did get Oakland and Las Vegas into a bidding war for the baseball business. Oakland and California elected officials are leaving no stone unturned to get about a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money to pay for infrastructure for Fisher’s business’s future home. Fisher wants to build a stadium-village on the Oakland waterfront. Athletics officials have spent time scouting the Las Vegas market looking at five sites in the area. Oakland might have lost a step in the race when The Seaport Planning Advisory Committee “did not recommend ending the maritime use of Howard Terminal”. Fisher wants that waterfront property. Kaval called the non-binding statement a “very disappointing setback”. But have no fear because there is the Las Vegas option with a final site in the Las Vegas area to be chosen soon.
What Las Vegas political and business leaders have done is simple. They have shown the commissioner, Rob Manfred and the other 29 owners they are very serious about landing a team, whether it is Fisher’s business or an expansion team. But there are so many questions about the viability of a Major League Baseball team in Las Vegas. Is the TV market big enough? Las Vegas pales in comparison to the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market concerning the amount of TV dollars available. The Oakland market with San Francisco and San Jose is the sixth biggest in the United States. Las Vegas would be among the smallest markets in Major League Baseball. How much corporate support would be available for a Las Vegas team? The stadium game continues in Oakland and in Las Vegas.
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