Las Vegas may be poised to seize another professional sports franchise from Oakland. According to a report, the Oakland A’s are bidding on a stadium for the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. If the MLB team moves, it would follow not long after the Las Vegas Raiders (previously the LA Raiders and, before that, the Oakland Raiders) moved to the city.
Vegas Becoming a Sports Hub
CNBC’s Contessa Beer broke the news early on Wednesday with rumors circulating that the MLB would approve the move.
Late November saw the A’s make an offer on an unidentified property located in the Las Vegas region. The bid was confirmed by President Dave Kaval, although he declined to identify the exact location. However, he did mention that the cost of a new US gaming center could be approximately $1 billion.
The plans to build a new waterfront stadium for the A’s in Oakland, where they have played since 1968, are causing problems for the team. Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, previously advised the team to explore other options if its situation in Oakland is not resolved.
Tropicana Getting A New Life
In April, the operating rights to Tropicana were transferred from Penn National Gaming to Bally’s. Gaming and Leisure Properties still own the real estate assets.
Soo Kim, Bally’s chairman, hinted that more was in store for the renowned gaming property, its first Las Vegas-based venue. Bally’s has long been one of the most active companies in the gambling industry. Vertical integration is the company’s goal. It has bought everything from land-based casinos to online gaming entities and technology companies.
Although Bally’s will not be involved in the running of the A’s operations, having a franchise from any of the four major US leagues close to the Tropicana could provide the venue with the boost it needs.
CNBC reported that Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment are being evaluated by the A’s, as well. However, speculations are already rife that Caesars is no longer in the running.
Oakland Losing Favor Fast
If the A’s make their way to Sin City, they will be the second professional team to relocate to Las Vegas from Oakland after the Raiders.
The Oakland A’s stadium lease expires in 2024. It is, therefore, unlikely that the team would move before then. Even if the team moves in that year, it would likely require temporary accommodation before a new stadium could be built. The possibility of a temporary field for the pros has been discussed at Las Vegas Ballpark, home to the Las Vegas Aviators, the Triple-A affiliate of the A’s.
If the A’s decide to make the move and begin playing in Las Vegas in 2025, then that would mean that Oakland has lost the NFL, NBA, and MLB teams in seven years. Before the 2019-20 season, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors relocated to San Francisco.