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A’s preferred ballpark site brings improved transit options

With the Oakland Athletics deciding to move their preferred Las Vegas ballpark site a mile east on Tropicana Avenue from the Wild Wild West site, they’re bringing more than a major league team to the south Strip.

Increased traffic would follow the A’s to the site during home games and other events at the planned $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat stadium.

The nearest Nevada Department of Transportation traffic counting station to the Trop site, on Tropicana Avenue just west of Koval Lane, saw 68,500 vehicles on average per day in 2021, the latest data available. That’s down from 90,000 vehicles per day in 2017.

That’s slightly more traffic than what’s seen on Tropicana Avenue at Dean Martin Drive, where the Wild Wild West site is located; 62,500 vehicles traveled there on average per day in 2021.

Although there’s similar traffic volume at the two sites, the area around the Tropicana site is much different because of the various resorts that line the south Strip, compared with the mostly industrial, commercial and retail areas surrounding the Wild Wild West site.

Add a game to an already busy weekend night on the Strip and traffic congestion could be an issue.

T-Mobile Arena has done a masterful job with traffic arriving and leaving games and events at the 18,000-seat arena located just off the Strip behind the New York-New York. As the T-Mobile team did, and as they’ve done at Allegiant Stadium, it likely would only be a matter of time before the A’s figure out the best traffic plan, and fans devise their preferred way to and from games.

The $305 million Interstate 15/Tropicana project will also improve traffic flow to and from the freeway and over Tropicana Avenue for game days.

Although more traffic congestion can be expected, the parking and walking situation improved with the new on-Strip location.

Fans who are coming from the resort corridor won’t have to walk more than a mile to the stadium via Tropicana Avenue. Even though A’s President Dave Kaval noted that they were potentially looking to construct a pedestrian bridge over I-15 to T-Mobile Arena, that would’ve still been the same walk and cost the A’s or the county money to construct.

Depending on whether the team works out a deal similar to the Raiders with MGM Resorts, there will be a plethora of parking at the resorts near the ballpark, including MGM Resorts, New York-New York, Excalibur, Park MGM, Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Those properties charge a higher price in their parking garages on Allegiant Stadium event days and could do so for games at the A’s ballpark.

Pedestrian bridges that cross the four corners at Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana will allow for easy access to the ballpark from the resorts.

Those looking to stay at Mandalay Bay and Luxor can save some walking time and hop on the MGM Resorts tram that runs between Mandalay Bay and the Excalibur.

The Boring Company is also planning a route to the Tropicana, which is likely going to be the first phase of the Vegas Loop to be built outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center. With the A’s planning to begin playing at the new stadium as early as 2027, there is plenty of time for the Boring Co. to get that loop up and running.

A connection to UNLV could also provide additional parking options, with fans being able to park at the Thomas & Mack Center and taking the Vegas Loop to and from games. That, like the MGM garages, would have to be worked out with UNLV.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada could also potentially provide a bus service for A’s games similar to the Raiders and Golden Knights Game Day Express for those teams’ games. For a few bucks fans can catch a ride on a RTC bus to and from T-Mobile Arena or Allegiant Stadium from multiple locations across the Las Vegas Valley.

“Having the Game Day Express, these are folks that have a choice and they are leaving their cars at home and we’re moving thousands of folks to the game,” said commission CEO MJ Maynard. “If they didn’t have that mobility choice, the congestion could be a lot worse.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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