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Tropicana landowner could increase A’s ballpark investment

Updated October 27, 2023 - 12:27 pm

The landowners of the site of the future baseball stadium for the Oakland Athletics say it’s too early to speculate about how much it will invest in the project.

In an earnings call with investors Friday, Brandon Moore, chief operating officer, general counsel and secretary for Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., the landowner of the Tropicana, said the real estate investment trust could invest more than the $175 million it already has committed to the project.

Moore said it’s early, since the A’s and Tropicana operator Bally’s Corp. haven’t finalized plans for the 33,000-seat stadium on 35 acres of Tropicana land. Major League Baseball also hasn’t yet approved the relocation of the A’s from Oakland to Las Vegas — a process expected to occur by Dec. 1.

Representatives of the A’s on Wednesday told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority that construction on the stadium wouldn’t begin until April 2025, which means the Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino may not be closing anytime soon.

“I think Tropicana is a process largely driven by the A’s and Bally’s at the moment, and being the landowner there, we have a unique interest in making sure that the value of what we own there is preserved,” Moore said in response to an investor’s inquiry.

Moore said once the company determines what Bally’s and the A’s plan to do, it would make a determination on how much more GLPI would invest.

“We already have disclosed that we’ve committed to a minimum investment number to help demolish and clear the site and to do a little shared infrastructure,” he said. “As to whether we decide to invest more into that project, I think it really depends on how the project comes together. We’re sort of waiting to see what the A’s put out in their stadium design, and then we’ll work with Bally’s and the A’s to determine what the casino resort might look like.”

GLPI CEO Peter Carlino said a decision would be driven by Bally’s and the A’s.

“The script is not written at the Trop site,” he said. “We have an interest in the long-term plan there in preserving the value of what we’ve got. We could do something more, but we haven’t seen that yet.”

It’s unclear when or if the Tropicana would shut down during construction, but the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act dictates that companies must give at least 60 calendar days’ written notice of a closure or mass layoffs for employers with 100 or more full-time employees.

Representatives of Bally’s have not responded to inquiries about the construction process, and the A’s gave no indication of closure plans. Bally’s has an earnings call scheduled for Wednesday.

The A’s have yet to select an architect for the stadium and the team is not expected to announce any details until after the World Series at the request of Major League Baseball. The World Series opens Friday and could run as long as Nov. 4.

Over the years, companies have approached major renovations or construction projects at hotel-casinos in different ways. Some have involved high-profile demolitions or implosions in which large areas are reduced to rubble, then rebuilt. Others work around construction zones and keep some amenities open.

Hard Rock International, for example, has plans to keep most of The Mirage open while it builds a new 600-room hotel tower on the site of the erupting volcano attraction.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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