Las Vegas usually gets what it wants.
Sin City, and specifically the Las Vegas Strip, has become the ultimate destination. It’s where retailers set up their flagship stores, celebrity chefs seek to make their biggest brands, and the most renowned artists set up shop.
Las Vegas has become the destination of choice for vacations and business trips for adults in America, because the city offers much more than gambling. Yes, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) MGM Resorts International (MGM) Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and the other casino operators on the Strip want you to play, but they also want to give you countless other ways to spend your money to have a good time.
The non-gaming part of Las Vegas has grown in recent years. While even the big casinos once offered more kitschy performers, Caesars and MGM now regularly host residencies featuring the world’s biggest stars. They have also become the center of the nightclub world with the biggest DJs practically (or literally) living in the city and many also performing at the unique Vegas day clubs which have become huge draws.
In recent years, Las Vegas has also become an unlikely center of the sports world. The Las Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion team for the National Hockey League, play at T-Mobile Arena in the heart of the Strip near many Caesars and MGM properties. And, the Las Vegas Raiders moved from Oakland to a stadium just off the Strip that turned every home game into a major event.
Now, Las Vegas looks set to lure the A’s from Oakland to a yet-to-be-determined location on the Las Vegas Strip.
Why A’s Las Vegas Strip move seems closer
In theory, Oakland still has a chance to retain the athletics as the team and city negotiated a stadium that would be part of a $12 billion waterfront development. It’s never been clear that the team actually wants to stay in Oakland (since Las Vegas is a much cheaper place financially), but the team needs to at least appear to be negotiating in good faith to avoid angering its fan base.
The A’s, however, need a lot to keep the team in Oakland. It’s a complicated political process involving many moving parts, whereas a Las Vegas stadium could be built with private money. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on the timeline and what needs to happen for Oakland to remain in consideration.
In order for the Oakland City Council to hold a binding vote on A’s Howard Terminal this year, negotiations between the two parties must be concluded next week, according to City Administrator Ed Reiskin.
“If our goal is to have something for council consideration this calendar year, the timeline is very, very tight to do that,” Reiskin said at the Oakland City Council meeting on Tuesday.
Even if that happens, the project is still expected to pass the city’s planning commission in October and voters in November.
The A’s have made it clear that they will not be staying in Oakland at their current stadium after their lease expires in 2024.
Two Las Vegas sites remain in contention
While the team at least played around with the process in Oakland, they also looked at sites in Las Vegas. And while there may be other locations in the running, the team has publicly acknowledged that they are talking to Circus Circus owner Phil Ruffin about the Las Vegas Fairgrounds site adjacent to Circus Circus.
Additionally, Bally’s, which is set to take over operations from the Tropicana, has publicly acknowledged that it discussed with the team the construction of a stadium at the site.
If a deal is reached in either location on the Las Vegas Strip, the team would have to build (or have their partner build) a 30,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof.