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#pounditMonday, March 4, 2024

MLB owners make decision on A’s relocating to Las Vegas

As stadium in Las Vegas

The Oakland Athletics are one big step closer to moving to Las Vegas.

Major League Baseball owners on Thursday met and voted to allow the A’s to relocate to Las Vegas, according to multiple reports. The move needed 75% support from owners to be approved, and the vote was unanimous.

The lease the A’s have with the Oakland Coliseum expires after the 2024 season, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that a new ballpark in Las Vegas would not be ready to open before 2028. It is not yet clear where the A’s would play in the meantime if their relocation becomes official.

While MLB has now approved the move, there have been legal challenges proposed to the construction of a new stadium near the Las Vegas strip. A teachers union in Nevada is among the organizations fighting the $380 million that the state of Nevada has committed to the approximately $1.5 billion a new ballpark would cost to build.

If the A’s do wind up moving, they would be the first MLB franchise to relocate since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, D.C., in 2005.

The A’s have been trying for years to reach an agreement to build a new stadium in Oakland. They announced in 2021 that they would continue to pursue avenues to construct a new ballpark in Oakland while also exploring opportunities in Las Vegas. A move has seemed inevitable since.

A’s fans organized a reverse boycott during the 2023 season to showcase their opposition to the team’s plans to move to Las Vegas. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was unsympathetic and responded by taking a shot at A’s fans for not supporting the team.

The A’s averaged just 10,275 fans at home games this past season — by far the lowest attendance figure in baseball. Oakland finished 50-112, which was their worst record in franchise history.

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