Las Vegas hotels and casinos are getting excited about the possibility that a major league sports team may finally relocate to Sin City.
Las Vegas Strip hotels and casinos can get ready to roll out the red carpet for a third major sports team after the head of a major league signaled that it looks like a club might soon be coming to Sin City.
The National Hockey League was the first major professional league to recognize Las Vegas as a prime location for a team, but it took about 10 years after investors started talking to the league before the Vegas Golden Knights celebrated their inaugural season in 2017-18.
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Raiders’ Comical Chairs
The musical chairs that the National Football League’s Raiders have played with cities over the past 40 years has been more like comical chairs. The Oakland Raiders’ then-owner Al Davis in 1982 moved his team to Los Angeles after a failed attempt to get improvements made to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The Raiders continued having failed attempts at either adequate stadium improvements or a new stadium while in the Los Angeles area. Davis even took a $10 million good-faith payment from the City of Irwindale, Calif., for a new stadium to be located in an old rock quarry and not far from a Miller beer brewery. The project never got off the ground, and Davis gladly pocketed the money.
The Raiders in 1995 returned to Oakland with an agreement that a special district would renovate the Coliseum and add luxury boxes. The improvements weren’t good enough for the Raiders and attempts to get another new stadium failed.
So, the Raiders tried to get another Los Angeles stadium deal but that also failed in January 2016. In April 2016, the team proclaimed that it wanted to move to Las Vegas. In October 2016, the state of Nevada approved financing for a 65,000-seat Las Vegas Raiders stadium and the Raiders received approval from the NFL in March 2017 to relocate to Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Raiders kicked off their first season in August 2020 in newly completed Allegiant Stadium.
A’s Next Stop Could Be Las Vegas
Las Vegas hotels, casinos and restaurants are getting excited about the real possibility that the Oakland A’s may finally be moving to Sin City after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred proclaimed on Oct. 29 that he doesn’t believe an Oakland stadium will be built and Las Vegas might be the alternative.
“I think the mayor in Oakland has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” Manfred told Sirius XM Radio talk show host Chris Russo, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I think the A’s have proceeded prudently in terms of exploring the Las Vegas alternative, given the lack of pace in Oakland. I think they have to look for an alternative.”
The A’s lease on the Oakland Coliseum expires following the 2024 baseball season, giving the A’s over two years to get a stadium built in time for the 2025 season.
“Something has to happen,” Manfred said. “We can’t go five more years in the Coliseum … Given the lack of pace in Oakland, the lack of certainty, they have to be looking at Las Vegas. They need an alternative because they can’t continue to play in the facility they’re in.”
The A’s have publicly stated 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 (BALY) – Get Bally’s Corporation Report, which is about to take over operations at the Tropicana, has said 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.