Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher will join team president Dave Kaval in meeting with various officialss on the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday, furthering rumors about a potential relocation of the MLB team to Southern Nevada. The meeting is expected to take place this week.
Fisher’s presence in the meeting is a clear indication that things are ramping out as the A’s struggle to find common ground with officials in Northern California.
It also comes at a time when the A’s are taking additional steps toward relocating to Las Vegas following years of conversations between the two sides.
According to Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the group headed by Fisher and Kaval will meet with leaders on the northern part of the Strip. This is interesting in that things had gone quiet about a potential new retractable dome stadium on the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. Apparently, the 39-acre site is still in play in addition to the more talked about Tropicana site.
Casino magnate Phil Ruffin, who owns the festival grounds site, had said recently there were no recent conversations between himself and Oakland Athletics officials. While a spokeswoman for Ruffin declined comment on the Review-Journal report, Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom noted that the A’s are indeed interested in the location north of the Strip.
Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) did make waves recently by indicating that he would not support a new tax to help the Athletics relocate to Southern Nevada. However, he also just met with A’s officials regarding a public-private opportunity.
Next steps for Oakland Athletics, potential relocation to Las Vegas
The A’s situation in Oakland is not sustainable. They’ve struggled coming to an agreement with local officials on a potential Howard Terminal project in the Port of Oakland. The A’s current stadium deal in Oakland runs through the 2024 season.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has noted multiple times that the team will not stay in Northern California without a new venue being erected. He now believes that the A’s future in Oakland is non-existent.
“It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” Manfred said back in October.
Among the multiple issues in Oakland is the A’s run-down venue as well as a lack of attendance. This past season saw the A’s rank dead last in attendance at under 10,000 per game. Manfred touched on the current venue, too.
“The condition of the Coliseum is a really serious problem for us. It is not a major-league quality facility at this point,” MLB commissioner on Oakland Athletics curent stadium.
Should the team and Oakland officials fail to come to terms on an extension for their new venue, MLB has the ability to cut off revenue sharing. Given the Oakland Athletics’ already low payroll, this woud be the death knell for the organization.
As for a potential relocation to Las Vegas, Fisher’s presence in meetings this week could tell us all we need to know. Things are ramping up big time in that regard. Manfred’s rumored presence at said meetings only adds another layer to this belief.