Oakland A’s owner John Fisher will accompany team president Dave Kaval on a trip this week to Las Vegas to scout out potential stadium sites, according to a report Saturday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It’s a continued exploration by the club looking at possible Las Vegas MLB relocation.
“I think seeing as many of the sites and talking to folks who either own or control the properties and also just talking to people who are knowledgeable about Las Vegas and the mix of tourists and locals is really the focus of this trip,” Kaval said.
The A’s have been in negotiations with the City of Oakland about building a waterfront ballpark in the Howard Terminal area. They have already submitted a formal proposal with the city.
Two weeks ago, the San Jose Mercury News reported that A’s officials had been telling media members that there were “parallel paths” to getting a new stadium in Oakland and Las Vegas. Despite the A’s having a formal proposal for the waterfront site in Oakland, and haven’t even narrowed down any potential location in Las Vegas.
“We have an effort in Oakland and an effort in Nevada,” Kaval told the Mercury News. “We’re waiting on the (Oakland) City Council to say, ‘Hey, we agree with your vision for the waterfront,’ That’s where we’re pushing our efforts right now, while at the same time, working this parallel path.”
The A’s $12 billion proposals at the Howard Terminal would include a major housing component and hotels, retail, office, and even a performing arts center.
The Oakland City Council will vote on a nonbonding agreement for the project on July 20.
Earlier this summer, Major League Baseball had given the A’s permission to explore relocation, and so far Las Vegas has been the only other town the team has considered.
The support of a possible Las Vegas MLB relocation by the league itself certainly gives the Oakland group leverage in their current home market while they explore a possible move.
Scouting out locations
Last month, Kaval and other A’s officials visited Las Vegas and toured various potential sites near the Las Vegas Strip and others downtown and in Henderson and Summerlin. This week, he’ll visit these sites and possibly others along with the team owner. Las Vegas MLB relocation continues to be a hot story heading into the dog days of summer.
Kaval told the Review-Journal that each of the locations they initially viewed came with various pluses. Although the trip is planned for this week, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Henderson city officials told the newspaper that no specific meetings have yet been arranged. While Las Vegas MLB relocation might be a real possibility, most comments from those involved position it much more as exploratory at this point.
As first reported here on Vegas Sports Today, one of those locations is an undeveloped plot of land on South Las Vegas Boulevard, north of St. Rose Parkway and south of the new Starr Avenue. Although that site has not been formally announced as in the running should Las Vegas MLB relocation become a reality with the A’s, sources at Clark County say it is considered one of the sites.
Kaval told the newspaper that the list of many Las Vegas MLB relocation stadium sites couldn’t be trimmed to only a couple by the end of the trip.
“Depending on how it goes and what answers we get and things like that, that’s certainly possible,” Kaval told the Review-Journal. “The nice thing is there are so many options, and that’s also a challenge because you don’t want to boil the ocean. You want to be able to narrow it down and drive the project forward.”
Playing with the top down
Although no site has been selected and no discussion has been made on who’s going to pay for it, the A’s are certain of one thing. They want a retractable roof.
Kaval told the newspaper he’s going to visit Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers. That ballpark in Arlington, Texas, opened last year at the cost of $1.1 billion. It has a capacity of 40,300. Kaval had mentioned a 35,000 capacity for the A’s.
“I’m actually going to check out their retractable dome stadium because I want to see how they did that, because obviously in Las Vegas, that is probably the most likely way you would have to build a facility,” Kaval told the Review-Journal. “I want to learn from the latest that’s been build and met the folks there that made that happen.”
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