Oakland Athletics officials set to tour Las Vegas in potential relocation bid

Oakland Athletics officials set to tour Las Vegas in potential relocation bid
May 23, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Oakland Athletics hat, glove and ball lay in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It was reported earlier in May that the Oakland Athletics are considering potential relocation to Las Vegas after MLB pretty much told the organization to look for alternatives outside of Northern California.

This idea has been decades in the making. With the A’s struggling to secure a new stadium in Oakland, Major League Baseball is finally on the verge of giving up hope on a city that has hosted the baseball team since all the way back in 1968.

Enter into the equation the growing desert metropolis of Las Vegas, which has been seen as an ideal location for a MLB team over the past few years. Flush with the NHL’s Golden Knights and NFL’s Raiders (formerly of Oakland), this city is seen as a dream for potential relocation.

It’s in this that a group led by A’s co-owner Dave Kaval will tour the city of Las Vegas here soon, meeting with local officials and checking out potential locations for a new stadium.

“Oakland Athletics officials will visit Southern Nevada next week to explore moving the Major League Baseball club to Las Vegas,” Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted on Tuesday.

Does the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas make sense?

In short, yes. The A’s Triple-A team already plays as a brand-new stadium in the Vegas suburb of Summerlin. Prior to the 2020 minor league season being canceled due to COVID-19, it was a splashing success with many outlets calling the new venue the best stadium in minor league ball.

There’s also a willingness from Las Vegas political leaders and those in the surrounding suburb of Henderson to bring another professional sports team to the sprawling desert hub.

That includes Henderson previously entertaining the possibility of relocation of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Vegas officials considering building a new venue on the current site of the famed Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. As for the Diamondbacks, that fell through despite a commitment of $1 billion on a domed stadium back in 2019 by local Henderson officials.

According to VegasSportsToday.com, there’s another potential option for the Oakland Athletics in Vegas.

“VegasSportsToday.com has been told by numerous sources with city and county planning access, one possible location for a new baseball stadium for the A’s could be on South Las Vegas Boulevard between the newly opened Starr Avenue and St. Rose Parkway, close to the M Resort.”

From a financial standpoint, taxpayers helped fund the $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium. It’s the home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and can be seen right off the strip. Said funding came primarily via hotel and casino taxes on tourists enjoying their time in Southern Nevada. It didn’t have much of an impact on Vegas citizens, making the relocation of the Raiders possible in the first place.

This is all to say that Las Vegas is an optimal potential landing spot for the Oakland Athletics. It has the land. It wants another professional sports team. It will likely have the funding. And it boasts the growing population that will quiet concerns of the A’s continuing to play in a small market even if they relocate.

As for the city of Oakland, there’s certainly concern that the A’s can’t continue to be relevant on a broader MLB stage without a new venue. Progress on a project near the Howard Terminal has been slow, leading to the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball exploring their options.

In addition to Las Vegas, it appears that cities like Nashville, Portland (Oregon) and Charlotte, among others, are preparing pitches for the Oakland Athletics. But right now, Vegas seems to be the favorite to land the MLB franchise.