A’s potential Las Vegas baseball stadium site could be released in May

Oakland Athletics’ preferred site in Las Vegas for a potential billion-dollar domed stadium could be announced in four to six weeks, team president Dave Kaval said Friday.

“This is when we’re looking to make an announcement and let people know,” Kaval said. “It might change slightly, but I think that’s how we see it now. It’s really important for us to continue the process and get people excited about the location.

The timing is tied to the number, if any, of renderings of a proposed ballpark that would be included in the site announcement.

Kaval estimates he and other A horns will make about three trips to Las Vegas during that time. Team representatives could make their next trip as early as next week, Kaval said.

Trouble in the Bay

The Athletics and City of Oakland were hit Friday by a lawsuit related to the planned $12 billion Howard Terminal project in the Bay Area.

Filed by the East Oakland Stadium Alliance group in California Superior Court, the legal case was filed under California’s Environmental Quality Act.

“When my attorney called me, our general counsel called me, I asked her if it was April Fool’s Day, and she laughed,” Kaval said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. . “So, no, it’s real. Monday is the last day they could take legal action. So that’s the first one, there may be others, we don’t know. But it shows how difficult it is to get these projects approved in California. »

The lawsuit alleges the project, centered on a $1 billion waterfront baseball stadium, would pose an environmental risk to the Bay Area.

“It’s (East Oakland Stadium Alliance) an AstroTurf group; it’s not a real band,” Kaval said. “They don’t actually have any members in East Oakland, ironically. It’s really these polluters, these marine polluters, probably the biggest polluters on the west coast, who are doing absolutely everything they can to prevent the project from happening. The fact that they are using an environmental law on a project that will probably improve the environment is absolutely insane.

Kaval said the lawsuit adds nine months of uncertainty to the Howard Terminal project, even if the Oakland City Council approves it to move forward.

“It increases uncertainty and puts a cloud even on a city council approval,” Kaval said. “It further reinforces why we continue to put offers on venues (in Las Vegas). We negotiate with different parties. We’ve had many detailed meetings on some of these term sheets and why we’re announcing a Las Vegas site soon, because we need to have a real Las Vegas option. I think there will eventually be a Major League Baseball team there, and I think there’s a good chance it will be the A’s.”

Last year, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred cleared the A’s to apply for a relocation, with Las Vegas so far the only market the team has considered.

The lawsuit represents the third hurdle put before the organization in recent months, following the Seaport Advisory Board’s non-vote and the possibility of putting the decision on the Howard Terminal project to a public vote, Kaval said.

“It just brings more uncertainty and further reinforces why we’re putting in so much time and effort and have such a sincere interest in Las Vegas as an option for the club,” Kaval said.

Las Vegas sights

This week, news broke about the Oak View Group looking to build a $3 billion project on land on Las Vegas Boulevard near Blue Diamond Road, centered around a $1 billion arena. . That’s on top of Brightline looking to build a high-speed train station next door, with the possibility of a Major League Soccer stadium being built next door.

With this news, Kaval said the site, which had previously been of interest to A’s, was no longer on the table.

“It’s a location that launched earlier,” Kaval said. “It’s a bit off the main resort corridor, and from our perspective of having 81 dates, it’s really, really important to have a location that appeals to tourists and locals alike. We need this balance. It’s one of our guiding principles to make sure we choose something that works for everyone.

The number of potential sites the A’s are negotiating on is still at five, and negotiations are ongoing, Kaval said.

“There are trips planned, and we’re right in the thick of it,” Kaval said. “It’s fast and furious in negotiations, and it’s something we take very seriously.”

NFL Draft set to take place in late April in Las Vegas, news of Formula 1 coming to the Strip next year and Super Bowl to be held in Southern Nevada in 2024 attract attention A’s and MLB.

“I think that bodes very well for Las Vegas as a sports market,” Kaval said. “It’s really becoming the mecca of the sport. To see all the other announcements and while we’re reviewing it and the league is reviewing it, they’re watching it too. It is also important for this part of the equation.

“The other owners will have to vote to allow the team to move at some point. For them, it will be important to see the success of all the other properties.

Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. To follow @mickakers on Twitter.