Las Vegas has become one of the most sought after locations in the country for major league sports teams.
Already, the National Hockey League brought the Golden Knights expansion to Las Vegas in 2017 with their T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. Then the city lured the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders to the desert in 2020, where they play at Allegiant Stadium not far from the Strip.
Major League Soccer is in talks with billionaire businessman Wes Edens over his desire to bring an expansion club to Las Vegas, MLSsoccer.com reported in February.
The National Basketball Association has run a summer league in Las Vegas since 2004, and the WNBA Aces, owned by Raiders owner Mark Davis, arrived in Vegas in 2018 and play at Michelob Ultra Arena in Mandalay Bay. While the city already has an NBA-ready arena where the Golden Knights play and another billion-dollar arena is planned by Oak View Group’s Tim Leiweke, a plan to bring an NBA team into the city did not materialize.
Major sports team moves closer to Las Vegas deal
However, Major League Baseball may be on the verge of bringing a team to Las Vegas as the Oakland A’s are getting more serious about a deal to move to Sin City. And their preferred location might be on the Strip at a property currently occupied by the Tropicana Las Vegas at Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue.
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“It’s been widely advertised that the A’s are watching this site,” Peter Carlino, CEO of landowner Tropicana Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) – Get the report from Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc., said during the company’s April 29 earnings call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “…I can safely say that they have a very, very strong interest in our site if the transaction can work out to their advantage.”
Carlino said in the transcript that he and Steve Ladany, chief development officer of Gaming and Leisure Properties, Matthew Demchyk, chief investment officer, met with representatives of Bally and Oakland A last week regarding a possible transaction. Ownership is with Bally’s pursuant to a prior agreement, Carlino said in the transcript.
“There’s absolutely no certainty as to where this might go,” Carlino said. “If we can facilitate something exciting, you bet we will. So there, I have to say stay tuned, we’ll let you know.”
The A’s originally appeared to be using Las Vegas as leverage against the city of Oakland to get it to move faster on a billion-dollar privately funded waterfront baseball stadium project at Howard Terminal near from Jack London Square in Oakland.
A’s Chairman Dave Kaval presented the city with his development agreement term sheet on April 23, 2021. The Oakland City Council on February 17, 2022 approved the final environmental impact report for the Howard Terminal baseball stadium on a 6-1-1 vote, NBCSports.com reported.
Committee setback may push team to Las Vegas
Then, on March 16, 2022, a state committee, the Seaport Planning Advisory Committee, voted 5-4 recommending not to eliminate marine use of the Howard Terminal, which Kaval said was a major setback to getting the necessary approvals for the stadium, the San Francisco Chronicle. reported.
After the state committee’s rejection and several subsequent lawsuits — including one from the Union Pacific Railroad, the Chronicle reported — the A’s may be looking at a deal and relocating the Las Vegas stadium as a faster and more easy to get out of a bad situation in Oakland.