The Internet abhors a vacuum, and with little information leaking regarding negotiations between the city of Oakland and the Athletics ownership over a new Howard Terminal development, any little comment by the likes of Commissioner Rob Manfred is taking widely out of context.
True, Manfred is being a little sloppy, but he’s probably tired of talking about the future of the team as well. The drama began when Manfred appeared on SiriusXM and said a new Oakland waterfront ballpark ballpark “doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” leading to immediate speculation on the highly unreliable hot takes on baseball Twitter that Dave Kaval was deep in the bowels of the Coliseum, loading the moving trucks and setting the GPS coordinates for Summerlin and Las Vegas Ballpark.
Thinking betting of that, however, Manfred quickly set the record straight with the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin and asserted there’s no specific plan to move the A’s, with talks ongoing between the team and the city over some long-standing issues, including affordable housing, infrastructure funding and community benefits. No surprise: those are areas of disagreement between the two sides, and most closely following the proceedings saw them as being the last issues to be settled. In the end, there’s no current deal in Las Vegas or Oakland, and talks are continuing.
As they were the week before and the month before. Hey, it’s Rob Manfred’s job to help get a ballpark deal done, and pretty much the only ammo in his holster is hectoring. Which is silly right now, as elections next month both in Nevada and California could easily impact what happens next on the ballpark front. From the Times:
[Manfred] told The Times that the A’s moving to Las Vegas is neither imminent nor guaranteed.
“They have two options available,” Manfred said before Game 2 of the World Series Saturday. “I think the time for the Oakland option is running out. It hasn’t run out.”…
Yet, despite several years of exploration in Las Vegas, the A’s have neither agreed to a location for a ballpark or a plan to pay for it.
“That’s correct,” Manfred said. “They have work to do in Vegas. They don’t have a plan locked in, in either location. I think, at this point in the process and given the state of the Coliseum, they need to continue to explore both alternatives.”
This has been the status quo for months.
The larger lesson, though, is being a little realistic about what’s happening. Big project take big time to be finalized, and in this case we’re talking about one of the larger non-transportation developments (in terms of price tags) in U.S. history–some $12 billion. The ballpark is only $1 billion of this.
Could the A’s end up in Las Vegas? Yes. Will the A’s end up in Las Vegas? No one knows–as of now.
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