MLB Owners Unanimously Approve Oakland Athletics’ Relocation to Las Vegas
In a historic move, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) owners have unanimously given their approval for the Oakland Athletics’ relocation to Las Vegas. This decision comes after years of failed attempts to find a stadium solution in Oakland and numerous discussions between MLB officials and Athletics owner John Fisher.
Addressing the press, Commissioner Manfred expressed the difficulties in reaching this decision, acknowledging the disappointment it brings to fans in Oakland. He stated that he comprehended it was a challenging day for fans in Oakland and firmly believed that every conceivable effort had been made to prevent relocation. However, he pointed out that the existing situation in Oakland was deemed unmanageable.
John Fisher, the Athletics’ managing partner and owner, also spoke about the emotional impact on the team’s passionate fans in Oakland. Fisher noted that the move was necessary, citing the aging Coliseum and the need for a new home for the team. He expressed excitement about the prospect of the team’s future in Las Vegas, pointing to the success of professional sports in the market.
The new 30,000-seat ballpark, with a partially retractable roof, is set to open in 2028 on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. The relocation plan received initial approval back in May, with Nevada’s Legislature and governor approving up to $380 million in public financing for the $1.5 billion stadium. Fisher plans to retain the Athletics’ name, emphasizing the importance of the franchise’s 122-year history.
However, one key challenge facing the A’s is where they will play their home games after the 2024 season when their lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires. Commissioner Manfred mentioned that extending the lease at the Coliseum is among the options being discussed, with the hope of finding an 81-game home for the A’s.
Last week, a Carson City judge rejected a proposed ballot referendum seeking to repeal public funding for the Las Vegas MLB stadium, deeming the petition “legally deficient” and “confusing.” The rejected petition, if successful, would have increased the Oakland A’s owner’s share of the stadium costs, currently at $1.1 billion, but would not have prevented the team’s relocation.
Despite the mixed emotions surrounding the decision, MLB officials express confidence in Las Vegas becoming a significant asset to Major League Baseball over the long haul.