A's make offer for land in Las Vegas as Oakland project gets financial boost
The battle for custody of the Oakland Athletics has turned up a notch.
The A's tabled an offer for a plot of land in the Las Vegas area where they could potentially build a $1-billion ballpark, team president Dave Kaval told Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday.
The exact location wasn't revealed.
"We're kind of moving from a phase of research/data gathering to action around a final site," Kaval told Akers. "That's really important because the site selection is a really critical path to keep the process moving forward to where we could have a holistically blessed project."
Athletics brass has made seven recent trips to Las Vegas as they continue to eye a potential relocation amid contentious stadium negotiations in Oakland. Earlier in November, sources told Akers that Kaval, owner John Fisher, and executive vice president Billy Beane toured a possible stadium site near Summerlin, Nevada. A survey found that the preferred choice was near the famous Vegas Strip.
The team was going to reveal its list of Las Vegas finalists after the World Series, but that's no longer happening, according to Akers.
Meanwhile, the A's current home is stepping up efforts to keep the team. Mayor Libby Schaaf announced Friday that Oakland is receiving $14.5 million in federal grants, which she believes will help push the downtown A's ballpark project forward.
"Today's announcement absolutely supports a new waterfront ballpark for our beloved Oakland A's," Schaaf said, according to Sarah Ravani of the San Francisco Chronicle. "This additional $14.5 million is really taking us close to the finish line of delivering on all of the improvements that will be necessary to make an A's waterfront ballpark a smashing success."
Kaval called the Oakland grants a "really positive development," per Ravani. "It puts us closer to getting this project in front of the council for a binding vote."
The A's have played at the aging Oakland Coliseum since 1968 and have been trying to build a new ballpark in the city for decades. If they stay in Oakland, it will be at a proposed waterfront facility near Howard Terminal.
Commissioner Rob Manfred instructed the A's to begin exploring relocation options in May. It would be the third time the franchise has moved, having previously played in Philadelphia and Kansas City.