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Mayor Goodman says Las Vegas, Oakland A’s have talked relocation

Updated May 12, 2021 - 9:16 pm

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Wednesday that the city and Major League Baseball have been in talks for two years about moving the Oakland Athletics here.

Her statement came one day after MLB gave the Oakland Athletics permission to seek relocation.

Goodman said that the city has been active in talks with various major league sports teams for two decades trying to lure them to the city, with the A’s included.

“For over 20 years these talks have included dialogue with league commissioners, and for the Oakland A’s these have been occurring since 2019,” Goodman said in a statement. “Las Vegas is excited.”

The A’s have been attempting to land a new stadium in Oakland, California, with MLB calling their current home the Oakland Coliseum “not a viable option for the future.”

On Tuesday, the league gave the Athletics the green light to look into other markets. A similar scenario led to the Raiders moving from Oakland to Las Vegas last year.

Appearing Wednesday on KRON4-TV in San Francisco, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said city officials would fight to keep the A’s.

“Oaklanders know we need to take these kinds of threats seriously. But I say, ‘Hell no, we won’t let them go,’” Schaaf said. “This is our moment to rally together to make this work.”

Goodman and her husband, former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, have long sought to bring a major league pro sports franchises to the downtown area, making overtures to the NBA, Major League Soccer and the NFL.

If a major league team were to come to the area, city spokesman Jace Radke noted the Cashman Field site has long been considered for redevelopment and has been looked at as a possible stadium site.

The Las Vegas Aviators used to play at Cashman Field under different names before moving to a new stadium in Downtown Summerlin. The Las Vegas Lights minor league soccer team still plays at Cashman Field.

The city owns the 50-acre site on Las Vegas Boulevard just north of downtown and has recently pitched to construct a 25,000-seat soccer stadium there. Those talks with developer The Renaissance Companies stalled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB and Henderson also have flirted with each other. In 2018 the city made a plan to lure the Arizona Diamondbacks to west Henderson in a proposed $1 billion, 36,000-fan-capacity, retractable roof stadium. The deal would have been for a 30-year term, with the stadium being publicly owned, exempt from property tax, the plan said.

Though that plan did not come to fruition, Henderson Mayor Debra March said Tuesday the city could strike up a similar presentation for the A’s.

Meanwhile, Golden Knights owner Bill Foley has expressed interest in bringing an expansion MLS team to the Las Vegas Valley.

Foley said if the A’s decided to relocate to Las Vegas, it wouldn’t deter him from his pursuit of an MLS team. He believes the area could support the A’s, the Raiders, Aces and a possible soccer franchise.

“MLS has a different fan base,” Foley said. “MLS would be very successful here. I mean, we’ve been playing with it for a long time. Trying to figure it out and trying to understand where an arena could be built and be convenient. We’re working on that, and we have a number of interested partners who own European soccer teams that would like to partner with us on a MLS team.

“It wouldn’t be competitive with baseball.”

While Las Vegas is considered a potential landing spot for the A’s, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has in the past mentioned Portland, Oregon; Vancouver; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal as potential expansion sites.

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

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