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Bally’s credit downgrade won’t affect A’s stadium project, official says

Updated March 29, 2024 - 1:20 pm

The head of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority says the recent downgrades to Bally’s Corp.’s credit rating won’t affect plans to build a $1.5 billion, 33,000-seat stadium.

Steve Hill, who chairs the stadium authority, said Thursday its relationship is with the Oakland Athletics who are arranging the financing for the proposed baseball stadium on 9 acres of the 35-acre Tropicana resort site operated by Bally’s.

Two credit rating organizations downgraded Bally’s just as the company prepares to close the hotel and casino Tuesday.

In separate actions, Moody’s Investors Services downgraded Rhode Island-based Bally’s from “B1” to “B2” while S&P Global Ratings cut its Bally’s rating from “B” to “B-,” junk-bond status.

Hill said the downgrades would not affect development of the stadium where the Oakland A’s intend to play beginning in the 2028 baseball season.

Analysts had speculated that the downgrades could affect any collaboration between the A’s, landlord Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc. and Bally’s to build a new resort, to be named Bally’s Las Vegas on the property adjacent to the stadium at Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Some analysts have noted that the credit downgrades could make it more difficult for Bally’s to borrow for three major projects it has undertaken — a first-ever casino in Chicago, a bid to secure a gaming license in downstate New York and a replacement project at the Tropicana.

Hill said the baseball team has been working with the stadium authority and any investment made on the stadium would be arranged through them.

Bally’s representatives on Friday gave reporters a final tour of the property as it prepares for its 3 a.m. shutdown of the casino on Tuesday and the clearing out of the hotel and food and beverage outlets by noon.

Many of the casino’s 600 slot machines already have been decommissioned and had “out of order” messages on their video screens.

A smattering of guests played available slots and two blackjack tables had all their positions filled with players.

Some of the theater seats in the showroom where Rat Pack headliners once played have been ripped from their foundations and the Laugh Factory showroom — once known as Rodney’s for Rodney Dangerfield – was darkened, but still has shows planned up to Sunday night with Cristian Gutierrez, a comic known as Concrete, on the bill.

The second-floor Laugh Factory theater is near an overlook of the casino where an arched stained-glass canopy ceiling, installed for $1 million in 1973, rests above the casino floor.

Tropicana officials say they haven’t determined if or how they’ll try to preserve the artwork, which is installed in panels. A pair of catwalks above the ceiling at one time gave security officials a vantage point to observe what was happening on the casino floor.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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