Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher will meet with team president Dave Kaval Wednesday with various officials on the Las Vegas Strip and fuel rumors of a possible move of the MLB team to southern Nevada. The meeting is scheduled to take place this week.
Fisher’s presence at the meeting is a clear indication that things are speeding up as the A’s struggle to find common ground with officials in Northern California.
It also comes at a time when the A’s are taking additional steps towards a move to Las Vegas after years of talks between the two sides.
According to Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review Journal, the group, led by Fisher and Kaval, will meet with leaders in the northern part of the strip. That’s interesting given that a possible new retractable dome stadium at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds had gone quiet. Apparently the 39-acre terrain is still in the game, in addition to the more discussed Tropicana terrain.
Casino magnate Phil Ruffin, who owns the festival grounds, recently said there had been no recent discussions between him and Oakland Athletics officials. A spokeswoman for Ruffin declined to comment review journal Report, Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom noted that the A’s are indeed interested in the site just north of the Strip.
Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) recently made waves by hinting he would not support a new tax to help athletics move to southern Nevada. However, he has also just met with A’s officials on a public-private opportunity.
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Next steps for Oakland Athletics, possible move to Las Vegas
The A’s situation in Oakland is unsustainable. They have been scrambling to reach agreement with local officials on a potential Howard Terminal project in the Port of Oakland. The A’s current stadium contract in Oakland runs through the 2024 season.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has indicated multiple times that the team will not remain in Northern California without a new venue being constructed. He now believes the A’s future in Oakland doesn’t exist.
“It just doesn’t look like it,” Manfred said in October.
Among Oakland’s many problems are the A’s seedy venue and lack of attendance. Last season, the A Tier was in last place with fewer than 10,000 spectators per game. Manfred also went into the current venue.
“The condition of the Colosseum is a really serious issue for us. It’s not a major league quality facility at this point,” MLB commissioner at Oakland Athletics current stadium.
Should the Oakland team and officials not agree on an extension for their new venue, MLB has the option to cut revenue share. Given the Oakland Athletics’ already low payroll, it would be the death knell for the organization.
As for a possible move to Las Vegas, Fisher’s presence at meetings this week could tell us all we need to know. In this respect things are looking up. Manfred’s alleged presence at these meetings only adds another layer to this belief.