The Race Is On In The Athletics Stadium Game

Las Vegas and Oakland can play. Can you top this?


It appears Major League Baseball will have a real pennant race this year except it will not be on the field. The city of Oakland and the city of Las Vegas will be battling it out to see which city lands John Fisher’s Athletics. The Oakland 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 contends the Athletics business and the city is at an impasse. Kaval wants to see the city come up with around $800 million to help fund the project, the Oakland proposal is far less than that.

Kaval can continue negotiating with Oakland officials or continue his preliminary talks with Las Vegas officials and turn that talk into more substantial negotiations. Although Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred warned Oakland elected officials it’s now or never for the stadium village, 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 mire 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.

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Oakland Athletics(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)