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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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A’s Secure Key Legislative Approval Toward Las Vegas Ballpark

  • Public funding provides $380 million toward $1.5 billion ballpark along Las Vegas Strip
  • A's now to begin formal relocation application process
Oakland Athletics
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — The Oakland A’s are a major step closer to being only the second Major League Baseball team in the last 51 years to relocate.

The Nevada legislature completed approvals late Wednesday for $380 million in public funds for a $1.5 billion, retractable-roof stadium on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The funding must still be approved by Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, who is expected to do so. 

The A’s will now begin a formal relocation application process — involving several league committees and diving into club operating and broadcast territories — toward an as-yet-unscheduled vote before MLB team owners.

By leaving Oakland after 55 years, the A’s would follow the Montreal Expos’ move to Washington following the 2004 season and the Washington Senators’ transformation into the Texas Rangers after the 1971 season.

Following owners meetings in New York, league commissioner Rob Manfred defended the league and A’s management.

“I feel sorry for the fans in Oakland. I do not like this outcome. I understand why they feel the way they do,” Manfred said. “What is it that Oakland was prepared to do? There is no Oakland [stadium] offer.”

New Antitrust Challenge

MLB has fended off dozens of challenges to its longstanding antitrust exemption and now faces a new threat from Congress members. California Democrats Barbara Lee and Mark DeSaulnier have introduced the “Moneyball Act,” which would require MLB to compensate communities losing clubs to relocation or have the exemption stripped.

“If the A’s ownership group decides to leave, Oakland should not be left empty-handed,” Lee said.

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