Oakland A’s Moving to Las Vegas, Agree to Buy Property for $1.5B Ballpark After Turning Down Previous $1 Land Offer

Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 6, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. File photo: Debby Wong, Shutter Stock, licensed.

LAS VEGAS, NV – The Oakland Athletics recently announced the team is following the NFL Raiders in pulling up their roots and transplanting themselves to Las Vegas, Nevada, with the Major League Baseball team having recently signed on the dotted line to purchase property off of the Las Vegas Strip in order to construct a $1.5 billion ballpark. 

However, despite the similarities in the two teams’ situations, there is one distinct difference when it comes to the A’s move. Before buying 49 acres of land owned by Red Rock Resorts for an estimated $150 million – although the exact amount has yet to be made public – the MLB team reportedly turned down a previous offer in 2019 to purchase 22 acres of the Rio Hotel & Casino site for just $1

The reason why the team declined such a generous offer – less than the price of a ballpark hot dog and beer combo – is currently unknown, although some experts speculate the size of the property was inadequate for the A’s needs. 

In order to construct their stadium – which is slated to include a retractable roof – the A’s are seeking $500 million in funding from Nevada state and local governments; if they are unable to procure the public funding, there is a clause in the contract that allows them to pull out of the deal, reports say. 

The decision to leave Oakland for Las Vegas was an emotional one for the A’s many fans, and Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has publicly stated that he hopes the team changes its mind and remains, although chances of that happening currently seem slim. 

“If the A’s called me back, I’ll pick up the phone,” Thao said. “It wasn’t the city that walked away from this negotiation summit.” 

The City of Oakland was in the midst of talks with the MLB team – and were hopeful of reaching an agreement – when Thao said that he received a sudden telephone call from A’s president Dave Kaval, informing her that they had purchased the land in Las Vegas for their new stadium. 

“We were in the middle of negotiations,” she said. “I think we were the closest we’ve ever been. We very much wanted to get it done, but it was clear they weren’t being good partners.” 

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