John Fisher’s Las Vegas Athletics Will Spend Money On Players

Athletics Win 7th Straight Defeat Rays 2-1
AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Viva Las Vegas!

It appears there is no turning back and that the Major League Baseball Oakland Athletics’ owner John Fisher is pushing ahead with his planned move of his baseball business from Oakland to Las Vegas. Fisher’s business will play out the string and will honor the remaining year on the lease that previous Athletics’ ownership signed with Oakland officials and use the Oakland Coliseum for the 2024 season. After that, Fisher has no ballpark to use. Fisher may not be able to get into a Las Vegas stadium until 2027 at the earliest. But Fisher and his team president Dave Kaval are planning to spend big money on players which is a 180 degree turn for the business. During Fisher’s tenure as the owner of the Oakland Athletics, he has never paid big money for players and in 2023, his business may have invested less in players’ salaries than any other MLB business.

As far as the planned Las Vegas stadium, Fisher will be responsible for paying off an enormous debt. Clark County and the state of Nevada are minimally subsidizing the 33,000-seat facility that will be tucked into a nine-acre site on the grounds of the Tropicana Hotel complex. Fisher is getting that parcel of land worth an estimated $180 million for nothing. The exact finances of building a Las Vegas ballpark at this point is unknown. Clark County and Nevada are contributing around $400 million into the construction of the facility that could cost as much or little as $1.5 billion in 2023 money and without cost overruns factored into the equation. Fisher may not be able to build a village around the park as whatever extra land that is available is being kept by the Bally’s Corporation, the people who run the Tropicana. Despite all of the risky finances, it is full steam ahead for Fisher.

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In this artists rendering provided by the Oakland Athletics is a skyline view of their proposed ballpark at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif. This Oakland ballpark will never be built. (Bjarke Ingels Group/Oakland Athletics via AP)