Some form of public assistance may be available to help attract the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas, according to Steve Hill, CEO and chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
A Chairman Dave Kaval was in Las Vegas on Thursday for meetings with landowners and area officials, including Hill. A source from A said the team’s search for a baseball stadium site in Las Vegas has entered the final stretch, with the team narrowed down to two possible locations.
Kaval was unavailable to comment on the trip, but the source said he had “a number of successful meetings”, hoping to announce a final site soon.
Earlier this month, the A’s had a list of five possible ballpark sites, so eliminating three indicates the process may end soon.
Kaval did not speak to the media after this week’s trip because the team does not want to negotiate publicly, the source said.
Throughout the year-long relocation exploration, most state and local politicians have been adamant that they oppose the use of public money to help fund a stadium potential baseball player.
This no longer seems to be the case, although a tourist tax still seems out of place.
Hill said there are avenues of assistance outside of a room tax that could benefit the A’s if the team moves to southern Nevada.
“There are a range of possibilities for this partnership and I think some of them are worth exploring,” Hill said. “I think there’s a wide range of options that could be helpful in getting things done.
“I don’t think that’s really the right use of tourist tax,” he added. “But I think there are methods of making a contribution that could probably make sense.”
Hill did not specify what those options might be.
Kaval has previously noted that one option being considered by the A’s is to buy land and build a mixed-use project with a $1 billion domed stadium in the center. The other option is to partner with an established resort entity and build a stadium with a hotel-casino. The two sites in play are located in the resort corridor.
The A’s have been exploring relocation since May 2021, after Major League Baseball agreed to pursue options outside of Oakland once it deemed the team’s current home, RingCentral Coliseum, to be no not a viable option for the future.
The team followed “parallel tracks,” as Kaval likes to call it, working with Oakland officials on a potential waterfront development at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal. The $12 billion mixed-use development would include residential, commercial, hotel and public space centered around a $1 billion waterfront baseball stadium.
A key vote is expected on June 30 when the San Francisco Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission plans to remove the harbor designation from the Howard Terminal site, which would allow the project to continue. Without the removal of the harbor designation, the ballpark project would be virtually dead in the water.
The A’s also have yet to agree with the City of Oakland on a development agreement. No date for the vote has been set, with the A’s pushing for the city council to hold a vote before taking a summer break in July.
Hill said he doesn’t see it as a competition between Las Vegas and Oakland.
“We’re going to do our best and we’re going to explain what we think we bring to a partnership like this and if that makes sense for them and for us, then let’s do it,” Hill said. mentioned. “If something else makes more sense to them (As), we understand it. We are going to have a lot of opportunities. It’s great, but we’re really not in competition with other cities.