As MLB's Oakland Athletics prepare to abandon their home in the Bay Area of California for a future in the desert of Las Vegas, not everyone in Sin City is welcoming the franchise with open arms.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman criticized the team's plan to construct a new $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat stadium on the Las Vegas Strip, replacing the historic Tropicana casino and resort. In Tuesday's episode of the "Front Office Sports Today" podcast, Goodman said the A's relocation plan "does not make sense" and that the franchise should pitch a new plan that keeps the team in Oakland.
"I personally think they’ve got to figure out a way to stay in Oakland and make their dream come true," she said.
Goodman also questioned whether the 9-acre plot of land where the Tropicana currently sits would even be large enough for a new stadium.
"There are a lot of questions about whether that's going to fit," she added.
Goodman had previously proposed for the A's to build on a less-congested site in north Las Vegas. However, the mayor and the city don't have jurisdiction over whether the team wants to move to the Strip, as it's technically an unincorporated town located outside Las Vegas city limits and governed by Clark County.
Goodman clarified Tuesday on social media that she is excited about the idea of having a professional baseball team in Las Vegas, but doesn't think relocating the A's was the best option available.
"It is my belief that in their perfect world the ownership of the A's would like to have a new ballpark on the water in Oakland and that the ownership and government there should listen to their great fans and try to make that dream come true," Goodman said in a post on X. "Should that fail, Las Vegas has shown that it is a spectacular market for major league sports franchises."
Statement on today’s conversation about the Oakland A’s. pic.twitter.com/3dOXfFuq3d
— Carolyn G. Goodman (@mayoroflasvegas) February 6, 2024
A's owner John Fisher has maintained that he intends to move the team to its new location on the Strip in time for the 2028 MLB season. However, the team's lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires after next season, making it unclear where exactly the A's plan to host home games from 2025 to 2027.
There are also legal challenges holding up $380 million in public funding for the team's Las Vegas project. The Strong Public Schools Nevada political action committee filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to build the new stadium.
Another group affiliated with the state's teachers union has also filed a ballot petition to have the matter put to a vote. However, it was ultimately rejected by a judge and is pending an appeal.
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