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Saturday, February 24, 2024
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A’s Relocation Vote Still On Track, But Las Vegas Concerns Linger

  • Owners to consider historic franchise relocation at November meeting
  • Commissioner conveys concern about potential ballot measure
Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball remains on track to vote next month on the Oakland A’s planned relocation to Las Vegas, but acknowledged that legal issues in Nevada present a potential obstacle.

Team owners are set to vote on the A’s move at meetings planned for Nov. 14-16 in Arlington, Texas. If approved, the relocation will represent MLB’s second franchise shift since 1971. The timing of the vote has been targeted since last month. 

But MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is concerned over a move by Nevada education advocacy group Schools Over Stadiums — which is linked to the Nevada State Education Association — to force a public vote in November 2024 on $380 million in previously approved public funding for a stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

“If there was an adverse development with respect to that referendum, that would be a significant development,” Manfred said prior to Game 1 of the World Series. “That’s all I can say about that.”

If Schools Over Stadiums succeeds and the measure is voted down, a new funding gap would be created in the proposed $1.5 billion project and threaten the timing of the planned 2028 opening of the ballpark.

Interim Uncertainty

Manfred also said there is still no decision yet on where the A’s will play during the 2025-27 seasons, when the Las Vegas ballpark is scheduled to be under construction. 

Staying in Oakland for those years, while a stated possibility, is now less likely given the toxic relationship between the league and city officials. Other potential candidates include neighboring Oracle Park and Las Vegas Ballpark, the home of the A’s Triple-A minor league affiliate, with the league driving the selection process.

Union leaders, however, remain critical of the entire relocation plan for the A’s.

“I do find it interesting that amid the conversation and dialogue around finances, rather than staying in the sixth-largest market, they’re moving to a market that may very well have them in the perpetual cycle of receiving revenue sharing,” said MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark. 

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