John Fisher is getting a ballpark in Las Vegas.
Congratulations are in order for members of the Nevada legislature who somehow found $380 million in public funding that will go to Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics’ owner John Fisher’s new baseball stadium in Las Vegas. Fisher, the billionaire owner of The Gap clothing store and the baseball business, could not afford to pick up the entire price tag of the proposed stadium. Nevada politicians in the legislature decided to make sure Fisher had the proper funding. The last hurdle for Fisher to clear is getting Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo’s signature on that stadium document and at that point, Las Vegas will have a Major League Baseball franchise. Fisher also needs approval from his fellow baseball lodge members but that probably is not much of a roadblock as they will do whatever is best for John Fisher.
At some point, Fisher’s request of his fellow owners to move his baseball business will be approved and the team will end up in Las Vegas. But the question is when will that happen? Las Vegas has no MLB- ready stadium and Fisher’s Oakland lease runs through 2024. Fisher could extend the Oakland lease in theory until a Las Vegas stadium is ready in 2027 or 2028. But a three or four year run as a lame duck in Oakland doesn’t make much sense. Oakland has had an MLB team since 1968, but has always been a problem franchise. Charles Finley sold the team to Denver investors who wanted to take the franchise to Colorado in 1978 but the deal fell through. Various Athletics’ ownership groups have tried to build a new park in Oakland or in the Bay Area but all of those proposals failed. Las Vegas will be the smallest market in Major League Baseball but Fisher got his public subsidy from Nevada politicians.
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