Still Waiting For The Las Vegas Athletics

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

The move from Oakland to Las Vegas is not yet finalized.

What is going on in Las Vegas with the proposed baseball stadium that local politicians and business leaders desperately want to house Major League Baseball’s Athletics franchise. The Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher announced he was moving  to Las Vegas on April 19th, 2023 and Fisher picked out a parcel of land where he intended to build a stadium. Fisher about a month later changed course and decided to strike a deal with Bally’s and Gaming and Leisure Properties to build a stadium on the Tropicana hotel site along the Las Vegas Strip. The Nevada Legislature gave him up to $380 million in public funds for that stadium. The Barons of Baseball, the Major League Baseball owners on November 16th, 2023 gave Fisher the go ahead to move his business from Oakland. Fisher’s initial plan was to have the ballpark completed by 2027. Fisher would finish out his Oakland lease in 2024 and then the team would become the Fisher Nomads as the baseball business had no home field for at least two years. The two years is now three years as the Las Vegas stadium will not be ready for the 2027 season.

MLB owners wanted an Oakland solution by January 15th or Fisher would not be on the MLB owners’ welfare or handout list. Despite being part of a large market, the San Francisco Bay Area, Fisher was taking handouts from his fellow owners. The owners make up their own rules as they go, so Fisher is still on baseball’s welfare list. The move is not complete. There are no stadium renderings, a local teachers group is collecting signatures on a petition asking for a referendum on whether Nevada residents should hand over $380 million to Fisher. MLB has not heard yet from California federal lawmakers who could make their lives miserable by threatening MLB’s antitrust protection if Fisher moves.

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Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com