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Oakland mayor would welcome A’s back for stadium talks

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao on Thursday said the city is open to resuming negotiations with the Athletics if their quest for a Las Vegas ballpark is unsuccessful.

Thao said she would be open to restarting talks with the A’s about the Howard Terminal project that was planned in the Bay Area and included a new baseball stadium.

“I want the A’s to stay here,” Thao said in an interview with ABC’s Bay Area affiliate. “If the owners called us back and said let’s get back to the table, we are very close to a deal.”

On April 19, Thao had said that talks between the city and the A’s had ceased. That came after the A’s initial announcement of reaching a deal to buy land for a stadium in Las Vegas.

On Thursday, Thao furthered that if someone wants to buy the A’s and negotiate a deal with the city, she would be open to that, too.

There is no indication that A’s owner John Fisher has any interest in selling the team, or trying to reopen the door to a possible stadium deal in Oakland. The A’s could not be reached for comment Friday.

A’s President Dave Kaval said last month that the team’s full focus is on Las Vegas and getting a ballpark deal done in Southern Nevada.

“For a while we were on parallel paths (with Oakland), but we have turned our attention to Las Vegas,” Kaval told the Review-Journal last month.

The A’s are looking to build a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat partially retractable roof stadium on 9 acres of the Tropicana site, located on the south Strip.

The team is hoping to land $395 million in public funding, via state and Clark County funding mechanisms, with the A’s and the county $75 million apart on an agreement, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Review-Journal Thursday.

If that is worked out, the A’s would then file their stadium funding bill language to the Legislature, in hopes of it being approved by state lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Joe Lombardo.

The A’s could file their bill as soon as next week, pending a successful negotiation with county officials on the funding gap, the source indicated.

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

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