Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is threatening to block the Oakland Athletics from moving to Las Vegas, in the face of the MLB team’s demands for hundreds of millions of dollars in support for a new stadium, The Post has learned.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred recently discussed the A move with Sisolak, suggesting the team has the support of fellow MLB owners who will vote to approve the transfer, sources familiar with the talks said.
“Baseball has already authorized this move,” according to a good source.
However, Manfred also indicated to Governor Sisolak and board members that he would not approve the move unless Nevada provided some public funding for a $1 billion, more than 30,000 seat dome stadium. Sources said it was because Manfred did not want to set a bad precedent for other owners looking to negotiate their new stadium deals.
While Manfred did not specify a minimum public funding limit, insiders said he believed it was in the $275 million range. That’s well below the $500 million in Arlington, Texas, which paid about $1.1 billion, a retractable-roof stadium that opened in 2020 for the Texas Rangers. Elsewhere, Cobb County, Georgia, paid $300 million for a new stadium that opened in 2017 for now world champion Atlanta Braves.
However, insiders say Sisolak appears reluctant to agree to any such support ahead of his November election campaign. A source close to the situation said New York Governor Cathy Hochhol, a fellow Democrat, is facing a backlash for proposing record-breaking $850 million in donations to the new Buffalo Bills stadium in her election year.
“I think they are finding a way to get Vegas done,” a source close to the situation said, adding that talks may be postponed until next year due to Sisolak’s “political weakness.”
“I think it’s the timing issue that makes this difficult,” the source said.
In December, Sisolak told the Nevada Independent he would not support a hotel room tax to fund a new baseball stadium. That’s after he helped raise $750 million through a $2-a-night tax to build the football stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders, which opened in 2020.
The insider said Sisolak may also be reluctant due to the powerful component of MGM Resorts, which owns nearly 40 percent of all hotel rooms in Sin City, as well as a raft of leisure spaces that could threaten to add 30,000 seats, the vaulted. Baseball Stadium.
MGM initially objected to the construction of Raiders Stadium, but was persuaded that 75% of fans going to Raiders games and other events at the stadium would be tourists, many of whom might not be in the city otherwise, a source familiar with those conversations said.
“They took one for the city to let the raiders in” and are likely reluctant to do so again, the source said.
Meanwhile, MGM and AEG paid $375 million in 2016 without any public funds to build the 20,000-seat indoor T-Mobile Arena that is home to the Las Vegas Golden Knights NHL team.
Last month, the Oak View Group, headed by Tim Leiweke, announced it had bought 25 acres south of the Las Vegas Strip where it plans to build a $1 billion 20,000-seat arena for potential NBA franchises and concerts. Leiweke has not talked about seeking public funding.
However, the sources said faculty members may find it difficult to justify a move without some public funding. The team has a relatively good broadcasting rights deal in Auckland, which makes the team modest profits despite the fact that last season averaged just 8,767 fans per game at the 56-year-old RingCentral Coliseum, which can accommodate for 63,000 people.
The lease for Stadium A expires in 2024, and the owner of A Company, John Fisher – a scion of clothing store empire Gap – has spent more than $10 million exploring potential stadium plans for both Oakland and Las Vegas, sources said.
However, on March 16, San Francisco Bay planners rejected Fisher’s proposal for a $12 billion waterfront office, hotel and retail that would have included a roughly $1 billion playground. A source said Fisher was seeking about $200 million for the project.
However, Fisher’s plans had little public support. Instead, city officials voted to keep the proposed site, Howard Terminal, as a marine facility amid legal pressure from shipping groups.
MLB wants A to move, if necessary, to a Western country. Sources said other alternative cities including Austin, Portland, Vancouver and even Mexico City have potential issues that make MLB approval far from certain. There are teams competing within the operating areas of Austin, Portland and Vancouver that may be able to stop the movement. Sources said that in the case of Mexico City, players may not want to live there.
A, MLB, and Gov all rejected. Sisolak comment or have not answered calls as of press time.
A’s President Dave Kaval said Thursday that they are close to striking a deal on a Las Vegas site to build a stadium, according to Front Office Sports.
He reportedly said, “There has been a tremendous amount of negotiations in a positive way, and hopefully there will be final negotiations here soon that we can announce and really move forward to the next stage.”