MLB’s Athletics Oakland Stadium Plan Challenged

But Las Vegas could provide a backup plan.

One of the more interesting stories in Major League Baseball in 2022 is actually an old story. The  Oakland Athletics’ owner John Fisher is on a journey to get a stadium-village built on the Oakland waterfront or getting a stadium built in Las Vegas. Fisher is not spending too much money on his product, the baseball team in Oakland, and that brings up a question. Why would anyone invest money in watching Fisher’s product? But Fisher’s quest for that Oakland waterfront ballpark and a village surrounding the field is being challenged in the courts. Two railroad companies and a group of longshoremen, shipping merchants, and trucking associations are not thrilled with Fisher’s plan and want the courts to stop it because the railroads and the coalition do business at Howard Terminal on the waterfront which they view as a working port. The lawsuits could delay the project.

But Fisher and Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval have Plan B ready to go. Move the business operation to Las Vegas. Kaval said recently the business is considering five sites in the Las Vegas market, and that the business’ preferred location for a baseball stadium could be revealed in May. How the Las Vegas stadium construction would be funded has not been released to the public but owners don’t put up more than a billion dollars for a facility without a government handout. That is how it works. Nevada politicians claim that taxpayers will be shielded from stadium costs but those are hollow words. New York politicians plan to spend up to $850 million in public funds for a new stadium for the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland politicians have plans to spend public dollars for NFL stadiums. Fisher is looking for infrastructure money for his Oakland stadium-village plan. Fisher will get public money somewhere.

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FILE – This rendering provided by the Oakland Athletics and BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group shows an elevated view of the baseball club’s proposed new at Howard Terminal in Oakland, Calif. (Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group/Oakland Athletics via AP, File)