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A’s relocation efforts not on agenda at MLB winter meetings

The Oakland Athletics’ ongoing quest to build a new stadium in Las Vegas or the Bay Area is not expected to be discussed at this week’s MLB winter meetings.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he didn’t expect the A’s to provide an update on the team’s work toward landing a new stadium in Las Vegas or Oakland at the annual meetings occurring through Wednesday in San Diego.

The A’s have been negotiating the details with Oakland officials regarding a $12 billion mixed-use project centered around a $1 billion waterfront ballpark at the Howard Terminal site in the Bay Area.

Despite the two sides working together on a term sheet for the better part of the last 17 months, issues remain with infrastructure costs and affordable housing aspects of the project.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who has been at the helm of those conversations with the A’s, is termed out after this year. Oakland voters elected city council member Sheng Thao as the city’s next mayor.

Thao has told local media since her win that she, like Schaaf, will make keeping the A’s in Oakland a priority, but wants to ensure a fair deal for the city and its residents is secured in order to do so.

The A’s have also been looking at Las Vegas as a potential relocation site since May 2021. Team brass, including President Dave Kaval, have been to Southern Nevada several times over that span meeting with elected officials, tourism officials and gaming executives to figure out where a $1 billion MLB ballpark could work in Las Vegas.

A site list once as large as 20 is down to two preferred ballpark sites, the Tropicana site on the south Strip and the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on the north Strip.

A source indicated to the Review-Journal in late October that Las Vegas has the opportunity to nab the team with a deal in Oakland not possible this year. To do so, public money of some fashion would have to be included.

Local officials, including outgoing Gov. Steve Sisolak and Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, noted there was no appetite to offer taxpayer money to help construct another new stadium.

A potential tax financing district or infrastructure assistance could be offered to the A’s if they chose to relocate to Southern Nevada.

Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo hasn’t revealed his stance on using public money for stadiums and has not responded to multiple requests for comment by the Review-Journal.

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

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