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Vegas Most Likely Getting A Brand New Pro Sports Team
Updated April 24, 2023
In the span of five years, the city of Las Vegas went from no professional sports team to two and possibly a third soon. The newest addition alongside the Golden Knights and Raiders? The MLB’s Athletics. It’s not 100 percent official, but all signs point to the A’s being Vegas’ next new sports team. Let’s cover what’s going on as we know it.
Why Are The A’s Leaving Oakland?
We should be asking why the A’s haven’t left Oakland sooner. The city has already lost two teams in the past couple of years — the aforementioned Raiders and the Warriors, who built a new arena in San Francisco instead of staying in Oakland. The A’s issue with the city is familiar: a stadium.
At the moment, the A’s play at the run-down Oakland Coliseum. That’s been the team’s home since moving to the city from Kansas City in 1968. It’s a dump — and the franchise hasn’t been able to strike a deal with the city to create a brand-new one, hence this move. You also can’t say the franchise didn’t try because negotiations with Oakland date back almost 20 years. Even before agreeing to go to Nevada, the team also explored stadium options in Fremont and San Jose to no avail.
Not only that, but team support has been tepid for years — though much of that is the franchise’s own doing. The A’s have the lowest payroll and worst record in the majors. Not surprisingly, the fans aren’t coming to the stadium to support the team. So far in 2023, the A’s home attendance is barely above 11,000 — less than half of the 27,800 average around the league.
Why Are The A’s Going To Las Vegas?
The A’s signaled their move to Nevada by purchasing 49 acres not too far from the Las Vegas Strip to build their brand-new home. This move has long been speculated, so no one should be surprised. The A’s moving to Las Vegas makes all the sense in the world from a business standpoint.
Las Vegas’ population of 2.3 million has certainly embraced sports — both the NHL and NFL teams have got situated right away. So there’s optimism the same would happen for an MLB team that will be playing at home many more times a year, at an affordable price too. Not only that, but selling sponsorships to the local casinos (who use VIP seats to treat their top gamblers) is like “shooting fish in a barrel.”
Moreover, the city is chipping in to build the A’s new stadium, most likely — honestly, the move hinges on this part. You see, the franchise has already pledged $1 billion of its own to build the baseball park. But they need $500 million more in public funds to meet the $1.5 billion projected cost.
You have to believe state and city governments have a handshake deal to raise the needed stadium funds — or else this move would’ve never happened in the first place. The Raiders were able to fetch $750 in public money to create the now-called Allegiant Stadium, so there’s a precedent here. The Nevada Legislature session ends in July so in a perfect world, a partnership can be struck by then to raise additional capital.
At the earliest, we could see the A’s in Sin City by 2025. That’s because the team’s lease in Oakland runs through 2024. If the team arrives in Vegas the year after, they’ll have to rent space somewhere whilst the new stadium is being built. The A’s Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas Aviators, have their own park, which the MLB team could occupy in the meantime. The expectation is the new stadium wouldn’t be ready until 2027.
How Could The A’s Move Impact Las Vegas?
One thing is for sure, and popular Las Vegas sportsbooks would benefit from yet another team in the market. That means more fans to bet on well-priced MLB odds offered at the sportsbook — not only locals that convert to A’s faithful but visiting teams that bring travel fans. Those same fans will also be booking hotel rooms and eating at restaurants, which all get a financial bump from this.
Those are all second-order effects for casinos with the A’s. However, there is one establishment that stands to gain the most directly: Red Rock Resorts. You see, that’s who the franchise bought land from for the stadium. The acres bought are located near Tropicana Boulevard and Interstate 15. Previous rumors had the A’s looking to build in the northern part of The Strip where the Tropicana and Circus Circus is.
Ironically enough, the land earmarked for this deal was originally intended for the Raiders, but it was not to be. Red Rock owns a total of 100 acres in this part. Previously, they operated Wild Wild West Gambling Hall & Hotel. It was shut down in 2022 and demolished because the real estate was more valuable than the building itself.
Like we said, the A’s to Vegas isn’t official yet, but it’s everyone’s expectation it will become so in the next few months. To stay up to date on news about the move, make sure to check back here regularly.
Eric has had a deep love for sports since the age of 10. This love has driven him to choose a career in sports journalism, where he covered different sporting events, from high school games to professional leagues, over the course of several years. Today, Eric channels his sports passion into betting and when not sharing his betting expertise here, you can find him at a sportsbook.