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Oakland A’s reach agreement for potential stadium site on Las Vegas Strip

The A’s are asking for nearly $400 million in public support from the Nevada Legislature, which could vote on a proposal this week.

Oakland Athletics fans hang yell to protest the team's potential move to Las Vegas and to call for team owner John Fisher to sell the team during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds in Oakland, Calif., Friday, April 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Las Vegas • The Oakland Athletics have reached an agreement with Bally’s and Gaming & Leisure Properties to build a potential stadium on the Tropicana hotel site along the Las Vegas Strip.

Bally’s Corp. made the announcement Monday for a 30,000-seat stadium on the 35-acre site. The project is expected to cost about $1.5 billion, and the A’s are asking for nearly $400 million in public support from the Nevada Legislature, which could vote on a proposal this week.

The A’s previously previously signed an agreement to build a stadium also on Tropicana Avenue but on the other side of Interstate 15 that runs alongside the Strip. They were expected to ask the Legislature for $500 million in public funds for the 49-acre site that would have included much more than a stadium.

The new agreement is a scaled-down proposal but the location is in closer walking distance for fans who are staying in hotels on the south end of the Strip.”We are excited about the potential to bring Major League Baseball to this iconic location,” A’s President Dave Kaval said in a statement. “We are thrilled to work alongside Bally’s and GLPI, and look forward to finalizing plans to bring the Athletics to Southern Nevada.”

Kaval has said he hopes to break ground on a new ballpark next year and open the venue in time for the 2027 season. The A’s have a lease at Oakland Coliseum through 2024, and they could play the 2025 and ‘26 seasons at Las Vegas Ballpark, home to their Triple-A affiliate Aviators.

The Tropicana opened in 1957 and in its heyday drew such A-listers as Sammy Davis Jr. Now the Trop is overshadowed by nearby megaresorts such as the MGM Grand, New York-New York and Mandalay Bay, and soon it likely will meet the fate of so many other historic Las Vegas hotels that are no longer around.

“We are honored to have been selected to partner with the Oakland Athletics on this monumental step in helping to bring Major League Baseball to the great city of Las Vegas, and to be a part of the once-in-a-generation opportunity of having a professional baseball team located within a short walk of the Las Vegas Strip,” Bally’s President George Papanier said in a statement. “The Tropicana has been a landmark of Las Vegas for generations, and this development will enhance this iconic site for generations to come.”

The A’s had been looking for a new home for years to replace the outdated and run-down Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. It is averaging less than 9,500 fans at home this season, by far the lowest among the 30 teams.

The team had been in negotiations with the city of Oakland to build a stadium on the waterfront but switched the focus entirely to Las Vegas last month. The A’s exclusive negotiating rights deal with the Port of Oakland for the Howard Terminal site expired last Friday, allowing the port to negotiate with other parties interested in using the downtown site.

On Friday, the A’s also reached a deal with the Culinary Union, a politically powerful Nevada union that represents more than 60,000 workers mostly in the Las Vegas area, which guarantees that A’s workers have the right to organize and negotiate union contracts.

“We hope there will be a path forward for all stakeholders so the Las Vegas A’s can join the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Raiders to continue this transformation as Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, also becomes the sporting capital of the world,” Culinary Union secretary-treasurer Ted Pappageorge said in a statement.