The Oakland Athletics have officially announced their move to Las Vegas. After years of negotiations for a new stadium in the Bay Area, the team’s president, Dave Kaval, confirmed the relocation on Wednesday night. The Athletics have signed an agreement to acquire a 49-acre site near the Las Vegas Strip.
According to Kaval, the A’s will be playing in a billion-dollar retractable roof stadium on the site by 2027. This move will mark the first major relocation of an MLB franchise in the last two decades.
Financial Woes Push Oakland A’s out of Bay Area
The Athletics have been exploring different moves around California, including in Fremont and San Jose, for many years. The move to Las Vegas is rooted in the hope of attracting more fans to come and watch the team.
Last season, the Oakland A’s had an average of fewer than 10,000 fans at a game, while the franchise is currently predicting about 40,000 fans will come to the Las Vegas Stadium. The antiquity of the Oakland Coliseum has resulted in increased prices, making attendance thin, with fewer than 3,000 fans at a game last year.
New Oakland Athletics Stadium
The MLB franchise seems to have picked the right time to move, as things could hardly get any worse in the Bay Area.
The A’s are currently the worst team in baseball. Oakland owns the league’s lowest payroll, worst record, worst run differential, and the lowest average attendance of any MLB team.
The A’s have been looking around Las Vegas for about two years and have signed a purchase agreement with Red Rock Resorts. However, it’s not a land buy yet, and the team will be working on a few legislative acts, including a public-private partnership, which is the first step in moving the A’s to Las Vegas.
The team plans to build a $1.5 billion stadium that features a partially retractable roof. It is expected to seat 30,000 fans and offers other developments around the stadium, such as restaurants, shops, a movie theater, and more.
Kaval estimates that they could start breaking ground on the new stadium in 2024, with opening day being as early as 2027. The MLB has given the A’s a deadline to complete their stadium deal by 2024.
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