A’s get ‘full support’ from Las Vegas casinos

When the Oakland Athletics move to Las Vegas, North Strip and downtown resort operators would strongly support the team in building a $1 billion stadium in their area.

Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella confirmed that he and hotel owners from North Strip and Downtown Las Vegas met with A’s Brass on Wednesday. They discussed the potential of a 35,000-seat domed stadium on the Las Vegas Festival Grounds site, located at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.

“We have reiterated our support that we believe the best site is on Sahara/LV Blvd,” Sibella wrote in an email. “Having the A’s in Las Vegas will be great for Strip real estate and the LV community.”

The meeting didn’t include discussions on economics, only that the “A’s will have our full support,” Sibella added.

After nearly two years of working in the Las Vegas Valley, the A’s whittled down a list of potential locations from more than 20 to two — the festival grounds and the Tropicana on the South Strip.

Casino magnate Phil Ruffin, who owns the 37-acre festival site, was unavailable for comment.

George Papanier, president of Bally’s Corp., which oversees the company’s land-based casino operations, said last month talks with the A’s were still ongoing. Bally’s oversees the operation of the Tropicana.

Derek Stevens, co-owner of downtown properties Circa, Golden Gate and The D, confirmed his attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, adding that many key players wanted to see the A’s move to Las Vegas for a number of reasons.

“I spoke to John Fisher and their President Dave for a while yesterday,” Stevens wrote in a text message. “This is going to be very good for Las Vegas, very good for jobs, very good for hotel rooms (ie the LVCVA). The most important thing is to establish the location and move forward.”

The A’s are interested in public support if they were to relocate to southern Nevada, a person with knowledge of the case said. Gov. Joe Lombardo said last month he was not in favor of raising state taxes to attract a team to Nevada, but added that there are existing economic development programs the team could potentially take advantage of.

Stevens said those complaining about possible tax breaks the A might receive don’t understand the impact the franchise and a new ballpark could have on the Valley.

“If Vegas doesn’t land the A’s, it could impact Vegas getting a team at some point in the near future,” Stevens wrote in the text. “For the (MLB) Commissioner (Rob Manfred) to waive the relocation fee is tremendous. When people say they want an expansion team that’s a “Vegas team,” people forget that the expansion fee will be somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion. Who in Vegas has that much money for an expansion fee and THEN has to take care of all the other elements like stadium costs and operational costs?

The A’s also have baseball plans in Oakland for a $12 billion mixed-use development at the Howard Terminal near Jack London Square. The potential project would be centered on a $1 billion waterfront stadium with a capacity of 35,000 spectators and would include residential, commercial and public spaces.

After the Oakland City Council approved its own term sheet in July, with which the A’s had several issues, the two sides have been working to reach an agreement that both sides believe to be beneficial.

With former councilman Sheng Thao elected mayor and the Oakland City Council seeing new members, it’s unclear where the process stands in Northern California.

This is an evolving story. Check for updates again.

Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. consequences @Mickaker on twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

| |
Back to top button