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As new Oakland ballpark plan moves forward, Las Vegas becomes long-shot bet

With plans for a new Oakland ballpark and $12-billion development progressing, odds of an Athletics move to Las Vegas are much worse–for now.

Last week the Oakland City Council approved a 3,500-page environmental impact report (EIR) for the downtown Howard Terminal waterfront development, clearing the path for the next phase for the project: $12 billion in private investment, including a billion dollars for a new 35,000-capacity ballpark to replace the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as the team’s home. The development would also include 3,000 units of housing, as well as 1.5 million square feet of office space, 270,000 square feet of retail space, a 400-room hotel, 18 acres of parkland and an estimated $450 million in community benefits. It would represent a massive makeover of the Oakland waterfront, transforming a industrial site into a mixed-use development.

While there are still many steps before a single shovel is overturned for the project–of course, being a waterfront development in California, there are a host of city, county and state agencies with a say–the passage of the EIR is a huge deal.

But it’s still not a done deal.

Which is why A’s President Dave Kaval is still keeping the door open on a potential Las Vegas ballpark. The tone of the Las Vegas talk has shifted, however, as it’s clearly shifted to a back-up plan. According to Kaval, talks are still underway about a potential A’s ballpark in Sin City, per the Las Vegas Sun:

“Time is of the essence,” Kaval said. “We’re already in a situation where we’re probably past time where it needs to be decided and we can’t afford to have any additional delays. And that’s why it’s so important that we have established an effort in Southern Nevada and in Las Vegas to determine if we could actually have a real option there and a site and a partnership with the community to bring Major League Baseball there.”…

During past visits to Las Vegas, Kaval has said nearly two dozen sites were under consideration, but the team said Friday that the team has narrowed its list of possible sites in Las Vegas to “three or four” options.

“Term sheets have been exchanged and meetings have happened in person and via Zoom,” Kaval said. “And that’s all going to continue until we can get tied into a final site that we would announce.”

There is still a lack of buzz surrounding Vegas, however, since the idea of a ballpark at the Tropicana Hotel site was first floated. With MLS talking with sports entrepreneurs Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris about a new soccer stadium on the south end of the Strip–a site once mentioned as a potential A’s ballpark location–MLB would likely be the fourth major league to hit town.

Rendering courtesy Oakland Athletics.

RELATED STORIES: Oakland City Council OKs new ballpark EIROakland Planning Commission approves A’s ballpark EIR; A’s reportedly looking at Tropicana for Vegas ballpark siteA’s succeed in launching bidding war in Las Vegas; A’s ask for feedback on Las Vegas Strip ballpark; Alameda County approves Oakland waterfront ballpark plan; Oakland urges Alameda County support of new ballpark tax district; Alameda County to discuss Athletics ballpark Oct. 26; A’s to narrow field of Vegas sites after playoffs; three sites cited by localsAlameda County to A’s: Slow down, cowboy; A’s brass resumes Vegas runs, continues talks with Oakland; Oakland, A’s to resume ballpark talksState funding on tap for new Oakland ballpark?A’s: Maybe we can work with Oakland on new ballpark termsOakland presents term sheet for new ballpark; A’s immediately reject it

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