Las Vegas Strip Awaits Major League Team as Big Deadline Expires

A major league sports team is closer than ever to relocating to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas has a lot of patience when it comes to waiting for the arrival of a major league sports team.

Back in 2007, an investment group made a pitch to the National Hockey League’s executive committee to bring a team to Sin City, but was not successful. It would be 10 more years before the city would land its first major league sports team and the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights would celebrate their inaugural season in 2017-18.

After a failed attempt to return to Los Angeles in January 2016, the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders in April 2016 proclaimed that they wanted to move to Las Vegas. Nevada and the city really know how to fast track projects, and in October 2016, the state approved financing for a 65,000-seat Las Vegas Raiders stadium and in November 2016 Clark County, Nev., approved a hotel room tax to help finance the stadium. 

The Raiders received approval from the NFL in March 2017 to relocate to Las Vegas, and they played their first game in August 2020 at their newly completed Allegiant Stadium.

Image source: TheStreet

Las Vegas Wants a Major League Baseball Team

Las Vegas has also had its eye on bringing a Major League Baseball team to Southern Nevada when the Montreal Expos were planning to leave Canada, but the team relocated to Washington, D.C., instead in 2004. Developer Chris Milam in 2012 said he wanted to build a stadium in Henderson, Nev., to relocate either the Oakland Athletics or Sacramento Kings, the Las Vegas Sun reported, but that idea never went anywhere.

But 10 years later, the Oakland A’s are getting closer than ever to relocating to Las Vegas after the City of Oakland missed a self-proclaimed deadline to reach an agreement on a new ballpark for the team. Missing the deadline could mean that the new Oakland ballpark proposal is dead.

Oakland’s City Administrator Ed Reiskin at a Sept. 20 Oakland City Council meeting said that the city and team needed to finalize a development agreement for a proposed $12 billion Howard Terminal project, which includes a $1 billion waterfront ballpark, by the following week, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That week’s window likely closed on Sept. 30.

“If our goal is to have something for the council’s consideration this calendar year, the timeline is very, very tight to do that,” Reiskin said at the meeting.

Without that agreement, a binding vote from the city council this year would be all but out of the question, Reiskin said. The timeline discussed if the development agreement was completed in the city’s timeframe would allow the planning commission to consider the project in October, the community and economic council to review an independent financial analysis of the project in November, with a potential vote by the city council in late November or early December.

Time is Running Out

Major League Baseball and the A’s have said that a deal needs to be in place by the end of the year for the project to be completed in the near future. The A’s lease at the RingCentral Coliseum runs through 2024, and MLB officials say the team needs to have a new ballpark plan in motion by then.

The A’s have publicly acknowledged that they’re talking with Circus Circus owner Phil Ruffin about building a stadium at the Las Vegas Fairgrounds site adjacent to Circus Circus.

Also, Bally’s, which is about to take over operations at the Tropicana, has acknowledged that it has had discussions with the A’s about building a stadium at that site.

If a deal is reached in either location on the Las Vegas Strip, the team is looking to construct a 30,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof.

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