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Las Vegas Ballpark would need artificial turf for A’s, Aviators

Updated April 25, 2023 - 4:03 am

To prepare for possibly sharing Las Vegas Ballpark with the Oakland Athletics, Aviators president Don Logan has begun getting estimates on what it would cost to replace the natural grass field with artificial turf.

If the A’s and Aviators, Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate, end up sharing Las Vegas Ballpark, the natural grass field used now couldn’t take the beating of more than 150 games a season between the two clubs, Logan said.

“I said before that we’re going to cross that bridge when we get to it. Well, that bridge is here,” Logan said. “If we share the stadium for a year or two, the grass just isn’t going to hold up. It would be tough in Kentucky, with Kentucky Bluegrass as an example. Growing grass here in the desert is hard enough. Our field, when it gets really hot, it’s hard to keep it healthy then.”

Logan said he recently sent a staff member to Arlington, Texas, to check out the Rangers’ artificial turf used at Globe Life Field, which opened in July 2020.

“The new artificial turf that they have in Texas at the Rangers’ stadium is getting rave reviews,” Logan said. “It plays really well. This whole deal (A’s relocation search) made us start thinking about a few things.”

A’s president Dave Kaval said last week that the team has an option with the Howard Hughes Corp., which owns the Aviators, to play at Las Vegas Ballpark for the 2025 and 2026 seasons. That would occur as a Las Vegas MLB ballpark is being constructed.

“We’d probably lean on Major League Baseball on what they think makes the most sense,” Kaval said. “With our partnership with Howard Hughes, we do have the ability to play at the Triple-A stadium, so that is an option.”

Tentative plans call for groundbreaking on the site located at Tropicana Avenue and Dean Martin Drive to occur next year, with the team beginning play at the $1.5 billion ballpark in 2027. Those plans are dependent on a number of factors, including the Legislature approving up to $500 million in public funding for the potential stadium project.

The A’s also have toured Globe Life Field, a prime example of what a Las Vegas MLB ballpark could be modeled after. The A’s are looking to construct a 30,000-seat partially retractable roof stadium on land in which they have a purchase agreement in place with Red Rock Resorts. The A’s also would plan to use artificial turf, Kaval said.

Las Vegas Ballpark can hold about 10,000 fans and is widely touted as the premier minor league stadium in the country. The facility has 22 suites, 400 club-level seats, 350 party deck seats, multiple food and beverage areas, and a pool located behind center field.

Logan said he isn’t sure if it’s possible to temporarily expand capacity, adding that will be reviewed as the Aviators research what it would take to accommodate two teams.

“We’re not that far into the process yet,” Logan said. “Our place is so good the way it is, it just feels good and is just a great place for people to come watch a game.”

If additional seating isn’t possible, supply and demand probably would lead to tickets to MLB games at Las Vegas Ballpark being priced higher than average. Most major league stadiums seat at least 30,000.

“If the Yankees are here, you could probably charge anything and probably get it,” Logan said.

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

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