Before the Oakland A’s entered an agreement to buy land in Las Vegas for a new stadium, they could’ve bought a plot for less than a ballpark hotdog.
The team was offered 22 acres of the Rio Hotel & Casino site for $1, according to Eric Birnbaum, CEO of Dreamscape Cos., which bought the land in 2019.
It isn’t known how much the A’s agreed to pay, but one analyst estimated the cost at $150 million. The team can reportedly back out of the purchase if they don’t receive public funding from state and local governments.
The team is seeking $500 million toward a $1.5 billion stadium with a retractable roof.
Oakland Still Open
Despite the A’s turning their attention to Las Vegas, the city of Oakland is still open to striking a deal with the team.
“If the A’s called me back, I’ll pick up the phone,” Oakland mayor Sheng Thao told NBC Bay Area. “It wasn’t the city that walked away from this negotiation summit.”
The team and city were prepared to hash out some final details when A’s president Dave Kaval called Thao to inform her of the land deal.
“We were in the middle of negotiations,” said Thao. “I think we were the closest we’ve ever been. We very much wanted to get it done, but it was clear they weren’t being good partners.”