With the Oakland Athletics set to visit the Las Vegas Valley this coming week to discuss a possible relocation with area officials, many wonder what a Major League Baseball stadium in the valley would look like.
The first consideration is size. In recent years, baseball stadiums have been built with slightly smaller capacities, which would likely be the case here. An MLB ballpark with 30,000 to 40,000 seats would fit nicely into the city’s professional sports landscape as it would fall in between the Las Vegas Raiders’ 65,000-seat stadium and the Golden Knights’ 18,000-seat arena.
To get a taste of just what an A’s stadium in the Las Vegas Valley could include, look no further than the two newest ballparks in the majors.
A new example in Texas
The Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field, which opened last year, sits on 13 acres of land in Arlington, Texas, that used to be a parking lot for their former field. The ballpark sits across the street from the Dallas Cowboys’ massive AT&T Stadium.
The 40,000-seat facility features a key element that would also likely be needed in Las Vegas — a retractable roof. The hot summer days would make it a virtual must to be able to enclose the field during games.
It takes about 12 minutes to open the 24-million pound, 5.5-acre roof, which is composed of panels similar to what was used for Allegiant Stadium’s fixed roof.
There are 12 field suites located behind home plate and club seating on the lower levels of the stands on both the first- and third-base lines. There also are 71 suites for long-term founders of the park and 16 party suites.
Additionally, the ballpark features themed clubs, lounges and even a speakeasy, all of which would make sense to include in a stadium anywhere, but especially in Las Vegas. There’s a nightclub adjacent to one end zone of Allegiant Stadium.
A complex in Atlanta
Another new ballpark that includes elements that could work in Southern Nevada is the Atlanta Braves’ 41,500-seat Truist Stadium. It’s located about 10 miles from downtown Atlanta, which would be the equivalent to constructing the A’s stadium in west Henderson in relation to the Las Vegas Strip.
The 1.1 million-square-foot stadium features a three-level restaurant, a rooftop lounge and an on-site brewery.
Also included in the project is an entertainment complex named the Battery Atlanta, which includes dozens of bars and restaurants, office space and a hotel.
Having a stadium built with an entertainment complex alongside could play into the planning of west Henderson, as a number of mixed-use developments are planned for the area.
That area is quickly expanding and already houses the Raiders’ headquarters and practice facility. The Las Vegas Aces’ headquarters also is being constructed next door on Raiders Way.
The Strip vs the suburbs
Las Vegas Strip and the ease of access for tourists is an intriguing aspect for the A’s, sources told the Review-Journal. That would be similar to what the Golden Knights have with T-Mobile Arena and the Raiders with Allegiant Stadium.
But constructing a stadium in one of the suburbs could work, as well, with the valley ever expanding. Knights owner Bill Foley said earlier this month he believes the valley could support another major professional sports team.
The Rangers’ and Braves’ stadiums are very similar to the plan Henderson officials presented to the Arizona Diamondbacks when they courted that MLB team in 2018.
Those plans called for a 32,000-seat retractable roof stadium, with room for 4,000 standing-room-only ticket holders, with adjoining office, retail and residential buildings.
Henderson Mayor Debra March said she would be interested in revisiting those plans with A’s officials if the opportunity presented itself.
“We certainly had a proposal that we had put together for the Diamondbacks,” March said. “We could definitely resurrect that and have a conversation. We would be interested in having a conversation, certainly.”
Henderson officials initially said they didn’t have plans to meet with the A’s next week. When asked about that Friday, Henderson spokesperson Kathleen Richards said an update wouldn’t be available until Monday because city hall is closed on Fridays.
The bottom line
The way Globe Life Field and Truist Park were funded are also blueprints for what the A’s may be looking for, as sources indicated they are interested in a public-private collaboration.
Globe Life Field was built in such a partnership, with the city of Arlington and the Rangers splitting the $1.2 billion cost.
Arlington’s share is coming by way of a ½ cent sales tax increase, a 2 percent hotel tax and a 5 percent rental tax.
Truist Park, completed in 2017, was also built with a public-private partnership, with the Braves contributing $372 million and the remaining $300 million coming from Cobb County and the Cumberland Community Improvement District. The funds were generated by a combination of bonds and a transportation tax.
The Braves are also tabbed with paying for the Battery Atlanta complex, which carries a $400 million price tag.
Seeking a similar deal?
A similar public-private partnership paid for the Raiders’ home, Allegiant Stadium, which was built with $750 million in public money.
That money is being generated by a 0.88 percent tax on hotel rooms in Clark County. With the pandemic impacting travel for much of the last year, the room tax has been raising less than budgeted, leading the county to dip into a debt reserve fund to make required bond payments.
In December, the county pulled $11.6 million from the reserve account and it’s expected to pull another $12 million next week to make June’s scheduled payment, said Jeremy Aguero, a principal with Applied Analyst, who serves as staff for the Las Vegas Stadium Authority.