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A’s look to finalize list of potential Las Vegas ballpark sites by November

Updated September 20, 2021 - 9:58 am

The Oakland Athletics have whittled down the number of possible ballpark sites in the Las Vegas Valley with hopes of releasing a list of finalists in the near future.

A’s president Dave Kaval said Friday the list sits at around 10-12 potential sites, reduced from more than 20 earlier this month.

The team hopes to release a list sometime in late October or early November, noting the top areas for a potential $1 billion, 30,000-plus seat stadium in the valley, Kaval added.

“Working toward getting to a final three or four sites that we could announce, maybe around the end of the baseball season,” Kaval told the Review-Journal. “That’s not that far away, and there’s still work that needs to be done to get there. But we think it’s important that we continue to be thoughtful in the way we approach it and do the necessary work and build the necessary team to take that next really important step.”

Getting to that final list will hinge on a feasibility study from Legends Hospitality, a traffic study from engineering firm Kimley-Horn and continued conversations with landowners.

Kaval, speaking to the Review-Journal via phone from Oakland after spending the previous day-and-a-half in Southern Nevada, said he and team owner John Fisher met with area elected officials, including Clark County commissioners.

Meetings with local officials

A’s brass met with commissioners Marylin Kirkpatrick and Jim Gibson in person Thursday and conducted a virtual meeting Friday with Michael Naft, who wasn’t able to attend the in-person meeting due to Yom Kippur.

“We had met with them on the first trip, and it’s really been a while since we updated them on where we were on our progress, the market feasibility study we’re working on with Legends, Kimley-Horn’s work on the traffic study,” Kaval said. “A lot of the sites are in Clark County, so we just wanted to make sure that we circled back with them. It was a great conversation about ways to work together.”

Kaval and Fisher also met with Henderson Mayor Debra March, as there are still sites in that city being considered.

“Her background on diversifying the local economy and the importance of that was a great message,” Kaval said. “They’ve done incredible work in Henderson to accomplish those goals. We have a couple of sites in that group of 10 or 12 that are in Henderson. So, we’ll continue to get the necessary data to streamline it to only a handful, but we continue to have the necessary dialogue to get there.”

Kaval said the topic of a possible public-private partnership with either county or city officials didn’t come up during their meetings. He said they’re focused on getting the site list down to the final few and then will turn their attention to addressing partnership possibilities.

Customer survey feedback

The A’s did have some early returns on customer surveys about what a major league ballpark in Las Vegas should look like. Those returns affirmed the team’s assumption that fans want a stadium that’s easy to get in and out of, but also highlighted the need for having more to do around the stadium area than just attending a game.

“The other thing we heard clearly, having a sense of place around the ballpark, mixed-use development is appealing to people,” Kaval said. “That’s another interesting observation and something that we’re taking very seriously as we continue the planning.”

Kaval said the A’s would look to build out their own mixed-use project if a stadium is built off the Strip and would look to partner with resorts if it were constructed in the Resort Corridor.

“Kind of like T-Mobile Arena,” Kaval said. “T-Mobile has a great sense of place around it because of the really cool outdoor public space where they have pregame concerts. It’s really awesome. So, having something similar to that I think is a thought that we have kicked around.”

Kaval said he watched the “Monday Night Football” telecast of the Raiders’ first game at Allegiant Stadium with a crowd and the passion of the fans got him excited about what an A’s game in Southern Nevada might look like.

“It was tremendous seeing all the fans there,” Kaval said. “It’s always exciting to win the first game when you open a facility. … To see that and to see the entire country watching Las Vegas and it’s really an advertisement for the community and visiting there and for the excitement that comes with professional sports.”

Kaval said there is nothing new to report on the team’s negotiations with Oakland officials about a new waterfront stadium there. He said the A’s are waiting to see if Alameda County officials will join a special tax district that would be set up to help fund infrastructure improvements tied to building a ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal site.

The team is still hoping to have a final answer of where its future stadium will be built by the end of the year, whether that’s in Oakland or the Las Vegas area.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story misidentified one of the Clark County commissioners the A’s officials met with.

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

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