Design & Development

Athletics given MLB green light to make Las Vegas switch

The Athletics’ proposed new ballpark in Las Vegas

Featured image credit:  Oakland Athletics

The Athletics Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise has been given approval by team owners to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas.

The 20 MLB team owners unanimously backed the switch, confirming that the team will move from California to Nevada.

While the league confirmed the A’s will remain in Oakland during 2024, what happens after that is less clear. MLB said it is working with the franchise to evaluate “multiple options” before its planned ballpark opens in 2028. The $1.5bn, 30,000-seat stadium is due to be built on the Tropicana site on the Las Vegas Strip.

Where will the A’s play from 2025?

Rumours abound that the team could stay in Oakland until 2028 or temporarily play at San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park. Another option is the 8,000-capacity Las Vegas Ballpark, home of the minor league Aviators.

The A’s have played in Oakland since 1968, but their lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires next year. The switch to Vegas was caused by a failure between the team and local authority to agree on plans for a new stadium.

The A’s will become Las Vegas’ third major league team, alongside the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and NFL’s Raiders. The NFL team left Oakland for the Nevada entertainment capital just three years ago.

A’s chief energised by MLB owners’ decision

John Fisher, the Athletics’ owner, was delighted to receive the backing of the team’s peers.

Fisher said: “I want to express my gratitude to the owners and Commissioner for their thoughtful deliberation and positive votes in favour of our relocation to Las Vegas.

“Today marks a significant moment for our franchise, and it’s met with mixed emotions. Sadness for this change and excitement for our future. I know this is a hard day for our fans in Oakland.

“We made sincere efforts to keep our team in Oakland, but unfortunately, it did not work out. I am grateful to the fans who have supported our team throughout the years and the home Oakland provided.

“We are excited to begin this next chapter in Las Vegas. I want to thank the Las Vegas and Nevada community for welcoming us. We will continue to work hard to bring home more championships for our fans and for our new home in Vegas.”

Ballpark project to net $380m from Nevada public

In June, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo signed off on a bill that will provide up to $380m in public funding for the stadium. The cash will mainly be derived from $180m in transferable tax credits and $120m in county bonds.

Backers of the scheme to deliver MLB to Vegas have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium. This would generate enough revenue to pay back the bonds and interest, with the plan not intended to directly raise taxes.

The Athletics has already hired three companies that built Allegiant Stadium to develop the ballpark project. CAA ICON will play a central role in the management of the project, including oversight of the design and construction. The Mortenson-McCarthy joint venture will be the construction manager.

The design of the ballpark is being handled by Brad Schrock of Schrock KC Architecture. 

The stadium would feature a retractable roof and a playing surface that would allow the outfield to open to the corner of the Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard, providing views of the Strip.