February 8, 2024 - 1:08 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he would be disappointed if the Oakland Athletics don’t open their proposed Las Vegas ballpark at the start of the 2028 season and expressed skepticism about big leaguers appearing in that year’s Olympics.
The A’s announced an agreement on May 15 to build a ballpark on the Tropicana hotel site along the Las Vegas Strip, obtained $380 million in Nevada government financing on June 15 and received approval to move from Major League Baseball on Nov. 16 but have yet to release plans for the stadium. The team has said it hopes to move into a new stadium in 2028.
Manfred said that if a stadium doesn’t open by then, he would be “disappointed just in the sense I think it’s the best for the A”s and the best for the game.”
The team’s lease at the Oakland Coliseum extends through the 2024 season. It’s unclear whether the A’s will play 2025 home games in Oakland, Sacramento or a minor league stadium in Las Vegas.
“I’m comfortable with where they are in the process,” Manfred said. “They have options and you know, I think they’re doing a good job of exploring them and making sure we find the best possible opportunity.”
Manfred said a location does need to be known in the next few months.
“It’s hard, even scheduling, although it’s clearly going to be someplace in the West,” Manfred said. “You know, there’s a difference between some places in the West and other places in the West. So we need to get at.”
Manfred held a news conference following an owners meeting. A day earlier, owners were given a presentation by LA 2028 chairman Casey Wasserman on how major leaguers could appear in that year’s Olympics.
“I think the pros are just the potential for association between two great brands, ” Manfred said. “The con’ are just you know, it’s the logistics. Everyday games are tough. They’re tough. And, you know, if you look at the calendar, I think it’s so complicated by the proximity to what would ordinarily be the All-Star Game.”
While major leaguers technically have been available to national teams for the World Baseball Classic, many pitchers and some other top players were blocked from participating by their clubs.