A bill introduced late Friday in the Nevada Legislature could give the Oakland Athletics a big push in their quest to relocate to Las Vegas.
The stadium funding bill calls for the creation of a sports and entertainment district at the site on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits, including a potential 30,000-seat, $1.5 billion retractable-roof stadium.
The plan does not directly raise taxes. In the proposed bill, Clark County would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs of the project, while the majority of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from Nevada and $120 million in county bonds.
Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo had previously announced the agreement for a taxpayer contribution to the proposed ballpark.
“This agreement follows months of negotiations between the state, the county and the A’s, and I believe it gives us a tremendous opportunity to continue building on the professional sports infrastructure of southern Nevada,” Lombardo said in a statement Wednesday. “Las Vegas is clearly a sports town, and Major League Baseball should be a part of it.”
The legislature would need to approve the bill, and Lombardo sign it, for the ballpark to move ahead. The bill can move forward with a simple majority vote in the Senate and the Assembly. Lawmakers adjourn June 5 but could call a special session before then to vote on the bill.
The A’s have been stymied in their attempts to get a new stadium in the Bay Area and instead turned to the site of the Tropicana hotel and casino.
Per a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the landmark Tropicana would be torn down, and the stadium would occupy nine acres of the 35-acre site. A resort could be built on the excess land later.
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that a quick approval could lead to the A’s leaving Oakland after the 2023 season, despite the lease there not expiring until the end of 2024.
They would share the ballpark of their Triple-A team, the Las Vegas Aviators, while their stadium is under construction. A 2027 stadium opening is being targeted.
The A’s have played in Oakland since 1968, the season they moved from Kansas City.
“We’re very appreciative of the support from the State of Nevada and Clark County’s leadership,” A’s president Dave Kaval said in a statement. “We want to thank Governor Lombardo, the Legislative leadership, the Treasurer, and Clark County Commissioners and staff on the collaborative process. We look forward to advancing this legislation in a responsible way.”
–Field Level Media