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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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In A’s Relocation Saga, Even Stadium Renderings Tell a Story of Confusion

  • A mockup of the team’s planned Las Vegas home was released Tuesday—earlier, it seems, than the design firm behind it had planned.
  • The team’s previous drawings, used in a successful bid for public funding, were tossed last year.

The Oakland A’s attempt to leave Northern California is seemingly marred by baffling developments at every turn.

The backstory to the latest: The A’s 2028 move to Las Vegas was formally approved by MLB owners in late ’23, after the team had released stadium renderings to help land almost $400 million in public funding for a proposed ballpark. But after that funding was approved the team said it was trashing the venue mockup, which savvy observers had pointed out wouldn’t fit in the approved nine-acre parcel in Vegas. “We told [prospective design] groups, ‘You saw the renderings in the newspaper, but wad those up for now,’” Brad Schrock, the A’s director of design, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal at the time. New renderings were supposed to materialize in December, but a planned release event was scrapped.

Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the Oakland Athletics dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

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In the months since, Las Vegas’s mayor suggested the franchise ought to stay in Oakland and the team played a game of musical host cities as it sought an interim home for the years before the move. Which cued up Tuesday’s latest stadium development:

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), an architectural design company, and HNTB, an infrastructure firm, won the rights to design the A’s Vegas ballpark, which will be located just off the Strip. At 2:48 ET on Tuesday afternoon, a press release from BIG with an announcement of the pairing on the new stadium, along with renderings of their design, was sent to media members. But minutes later, a BIG publicist backtracked and said the information was meant to be held until Wednesday. (“The press release that you just received is under embargo until tomorrow.”)

In the breakneck world of social media, it was too late—the designs were already rocketing around the web, and around 4 p.m. the A’s official account rolled with it, sharing an array of photos depicting a 33,000-seat stadium with a fixed roof and tiered seating.

Now, on to the next question: Where will the A’s play after 2024, while this stadium is built?

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