It is all about leverage.
You have to applaud Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval for his expertise in playing the stadium game, Las Vegas versus Oakland, for Major League Baseball’s Athletics. With the Oakland City Council planning to have a preliminary vote on the financing of the Oakland Athletics planned stadium-village concept which would require more than $800 million in government financial aid looming on July 20th, Kaval was recently in Las Vegas for a third time and told Channel 13 news Las Vegas he feels like the team and the city of Oakland are further apart on a deal than he thought. The Athletics dog and pony show will continue as Kaval is using Las Vegas for leverage in the talks with Oakland officials. Las Vegas started going after some form of Major League Baseball in 1999. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman talked to a number of Major League Baseball team executives trying to convince them to move spring training operations to his city. Goodman failed. During 2003 and 2004 Las Vegas officials met with Major League Baseball about moving the then-MLB owned Montreal Expos to the desert market. Goodman’s staff also tried to lure Florida Marlins ownership to the desert and failed.
In 1996, the Oakland A’s first home stand was played in Las Vegas because the Oakland Coliseum renovation was not complete. Allegedly Oakland Athletics officials did talk to people in Las Vegas in 2019 about the possibility of relocating to the city. Athletics officials have hired a Texas company partially owned by Jerry Jones and the New York Yankees to assess the Las Vegas market. Athletics ownership can save a lot of money by posing three questions. Can you provide government support and a big-time cable TV deal and corporate dollars? Those are the only questions that Las Vegas officials need to answer.
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