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Nevada Legislature Passes A’s Stadium Bill, Goes to Gov.

Nevada Legislature Passes A’s Stadium Bill, Goes to Gov.

The Las Vegas A’s are just two hurdles away from becoming official, and those hurdles are very low.

Both houses of the Nevada Legislature have now approved $380 million in taxpayer money to fund a new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics in Las Vegas. That leaves only a signature from Gov. Joe Lombardo and the approval of major-league owners, each of which is virtually assured. (The governor is the one who introduced the bill now requiring his signature, and the owners are tired of dealing with the stalemate in Oakland.)

A rendering of the 30K-seat Las Vegas Athletics stadium that now looks virtually certain to be built on the site of a demolished Tropicana. (Image: Oakland Athletics)

Senate Bill 1 — formerly known as Senate Bill 509 before the legislation failed during the regular session — was approved 25-15 by the Assembly on Wednesday, after the Senate passed it 13-8 on Tuesday, just hours before the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup.

The passage follows nearly a week of grueling negotiations, during which the bill was amended several times to secure the necessary votes. Among the changes agreed to were a guarantee from the Athletics of $2 million in annual community benefits, and an amendment expanding paid family and medical leave.

The new stadium, which will seat 30K under a retractable roof, is expected to open in 2028. The A’s will pay the balance of its projected $1.5 billion construction cost, plus overruns.

Where We Sit

The stadium will require the demolition of the Tropicana, one of the oldest casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip at 66 years. As part of the deal, the owner of the site, Bally’s Corporation, will give the A’s the land for free. The team will then transfer ownership of the land to a public agency, so as to not have to pay property tax. Then the agency will lease the land to the team for free.

The team will let their lease on the Oakland Coliseum expire at the end of the 2024 season. Then they will share a field with the Las Vegas Aviators, their own triple-A affiliate, until construction on their new stadium is complete. Though Summerlin Ballpark sports only 10K seats, the A’s have sold an average of 9,137 tickets per game this season.

At 19 wins and 50 losses, the A’s are not only the worst team in major league baseball, they’re one of the worst in baseball history — barely keeping ahead of the dismal 1939 St. Louis Browns’ monumentally bad 43 wins and 111 losses.

The last time a MLB baseball team relocated was in 2004. That’s when the Montreal Expos went to Washington, DC, where they played in a temporary home for three seasons while awaiting construction of their new ballpark.

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