MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has mentioned that a vote on the proposed move of the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas could take place in New York from June 13-15. The relocation process for the team needs to go through an internal process, which has yet to begin. Manfred also stated that it is challenging to provide a timeline for Oakland until a deal is on the table for consideration.
Athletics’ Prospective Move to Las Vegas
Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo announced a $1.5 billion stadium funding plan that would potentially attract the Athletics franchise to Las Vegas. However, the legislature still needs to approve the funding bill. The team has agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits.
Uncertainty Surrounding the Team’s Future
The Athletics have been seeking a new ballpark to replace the Oakland Coliseum, where their lease runs through 2024. The team has been struggling on the field and in attendance with an average of 8,695 fans per game, which is nearly 3,600 fewer fans per game than any other team. The Athletics have looked at a location near Oakland’s Howard Terminal before shifting their focus out of state.
Wisconsin Legislators Debate Potential Funding Plans for American Family Field
Manfred expressed confidence that Wisconsin legislators would work something out as they debate potential funding plans for American Family Field, the Brewers’ home stadium since 2001. The Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District is responsible for covering repairs as per the lease that runs through 2030. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the team have said the district does not have enough money to pay for what is needed, and the state surplus provides a chance to fund the repairs without implementing a new tax or borrowing money.
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos declared Evers’ plan to spend nearly $300 million in taxpayer money to make improvements at the stadium dead on arrival. Republicans who control the legislature have yet to unveil their own alternative, but talks have been ongoing in private. Vos has said he wants to work a deal that would look for a commitment from the team to remain in Milwaukee longer and not rely as heavily on money from a one-time budget surplus that’s projected to be around $7 billion.
Manfred noted that Milwaukee’s situation is “really the antithesis of what happened in Oakland.” The Brewers’ stadium has been well-maintained, ownership has made a commitment to put a competitive team on the field, and the fans have supported the team enthusiastically. Manfred emphasized the importance of maintaining this dynamic and the need for legislators to make choices between the various ways that public funds can be spent.
In contrast, Oakland’s facility was never as good as Milwaukee’s, and unfortunate decisions led to a decline in attendance, which impacted the quality of product that the team could afford to put on the field. It is uncertain whether the Athletics will remain in Oakland or move to Las Vegas.
The MLB commissioner’s visit to various stadiums has opened discussions about the future of baseball in different cities. While Wisconsin legislators debate funding plans for American Family Field, the Athletics are seeking a new ballpark to replace the Oakland Coliseum. The proposed move to Las Vegas could potentially be decided in a vote in June.
Leave a Reply