Boooo! Oakland A’s Announce Las Vegas Stadium Land Deal
Heartbreak. Shock. Anger. Sadness. The announcement Wednesday that the Oakland A’s had
entered into a binding agreement to purchase land in Las Vegas for a new ballpark sent
shockwaves through Oakland, A’s fandom and the region. The Bay Area Council has worked for
years with the A’s and Oakland city leaders to support the team’s plans for a privately financed
ballpark on largely idle land north of Jack London Square along the city’s waterfront. The project
would include a large commercial, residential and retail development and oodles of public open
space surrounding the ballpark that promised to transform the area and create better
connections between the waterfront and downtown. The project turned on whether the team and
the city could reach an agreement on taxpayer funding for various public infrastructure needed
for the development.
In a statement released Thursday (April 20), Council CEO Jim Wunderman urged calm: “The
news that the Oakland A’s appear headed for Las Vegas is heartbreaking and would represent
a terrible loss for Oakland, the team’s fans and the Bay Area. Emotions are running very high.
Even with some of the strong statements by city leaders that talks are dead, it’s still not entirely
clear whether there might be a path forward in the negotiations between the team and the city or
whether there might be some other alternative for keeping the A’s, if it comes to that.
Expressing hope that negotiations could somehow be salvaged seems a bit futile, but we
encourage the city, the A’s and Major League Baseball to exhaust every possible option for
keeping the team.”
Meanwhile, there were immediate rumblings out of Las Vegas that plans to secure $500 million
in taxpayer contributions for a new stadium are not a done deal. State legislators and the
governor would have to sign off on such a plan, and some reports suggested that key legislative
leaders weren’t rushing to signal their support ahead of getting more details.