Athletics Ownership Put Off Las Vegas Tour

Athletics ownership seems to want to talk to Oakland officials.

Oakland Athletics ownership put off another fact-finding tour of Las Vegas and apparently Athletics ownership is talking with Oakland officials about funding for a stadium village on the Oakland waterfront with some seriousness. It appeared the city of Oakland and the city of Las Vegas would battle it out to see which city lands John Fisher’s Athletics. That may still happen but something has changed. A couple weeks ago, Athletics president, Dave Kaval, was not very impressed with the Oakland City Council’s non-binding approval of an amended term sheet that could have paved the way for Fisher to build a ballpark and a stadium village for his team and his real estate business on the Oakland waterfront. Kaval wanted the city to come up with around $800 million to help fund the project, the Oakland proposal is far less than that.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred warned Oakland elected officials it’s now or never for the stadium village, however it doesn’t quite work that way in the stadium game. If Kaval gave up on the talks with Oakland, he and Fisher would have a lot less leverage in negotiations with Las Vegas officials. The Athletics ownership group is not going to walk away from the table in regards to Oakland. Ideally, the Athletics ownership would benefit from having a third city getting involved in the negotiations to get even more leverage. Kaval said the baseball business will not invest time or money into building a new structure on the Oakland Coliseum grounds even though the property can be reached by mass transit and is flanked by an interstate highway, something that the waterfront property lacks. The Athletics stadium game is still in its early stages. Las Vegas and Oakland are in the stadium race but Las Vegas may be trailing by a few runs.

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