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A’s expected to visit Las Vegas to meet with resort operators

Updated February 1, 2023 - 6:23 pm

Oakland Athletics’ brass will be back in Las Vegas on Wednesday to continue discussions on a potential relocation to the valley, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Team owner John Fisher and president Dave Kaval will meet with various resort operators on the north Strip, the person said.

After talks went silent in recent months with Las Vegas Festival Grounds owner and casino magnate Phil Ruffin, the person indicated that the 39-acre site is still in play as a potential location for a retractable dome stadium.

A spokeswoman for Ruffin declined comment Tuesday on whether he’s meeting with the A’s this week.

Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, whose district includes the festival grounds site, said he didn’t have a meeting scheduled with the A’s this week, but noted he was aware they were interested in the area.

The A’s are looking at two potential sites in Las Vegas — the festival grounds on the north Strip and the Tropicana to the south — where a $1 billion stadium that seats up to 35,000 would be built.

Bally’s Corp. president George Papanier, who oversees the company’s land-based casino operations, said recently it was still in discussion with the A’s. He wasn’t available for comment Tuesday. Bally’s oversees the operation of the Tropicana.

In Oakland, California, a $12 billion mixed-use project that would be centered around a $1 billion, 35,000-capacity waterfront stadium and include residential, commercial and public space, is also being discussed.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred in May 2021 gave the A’s permission to research potential relocation. The decision occurred after Manfred and the A’s deemed the team’s current home, RingCentral Coliseum, as not being a viable facility for the future.

Since then, the A’s have only looked at Las Vegas, making several trips to Southern Nevada, and cut the potential site list from more than 2o to the final two.

Gov. Joe Lombardo said last week he would not support adding a new tax to help lure a professional sports team to the state, but alluded to other tax opportunities that might be available for the construction of a new stadium.

Lombardo has met with A’s brass regarding potential public-private partnership opportunities.

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

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