The A’s are making a big 11th hour push to get their new stadium deal done in Las Vegas.
According to a report by The Nevada Independent on Tuesday, the A’s and Nevada state officials have reached a “loose agreement for a public financing package” which is expected to be formally presented over the “next few days.”
Is this just another oversell, leaked by the A’s? We’ll have to wait and see, because their word hasn’t been worth much the past few years.
The clock is ticking on the franchise to secure a new stadium deal in Las Vegas.
Nevada legislators work 120-day sessions annually and will conclude their 2023 duties on June 5, meaning the franchise has less than two weeks to hammer out a new ballpark plan on a nine-acre plot of land currently occupied by the Tropicana Hotel on The Strip. Any legislation after June 5 would require a special session to be called. But there’s a lot less red tape in Las Vegas, where things move faster than the bureaucratic Bay Area.
For now, the A’s are still proposing a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat retractable roof ballpark. The Nevada Independent reports that the state will offer less than the $395 million the A’s are asking for – including $195 million in transferable tax credits and $200 million in Clark County-backed bonds.
According to Jaclyn Schultz of FOX5 in Las Vegas, state lawmakers are currently offering $170 million in tax breaks, but the bonds are still unresolved, which would eat into the current $220 million funding gap.
Schultz also reported that Clark County is concerned its citizens could be on the hook if the A’s can’t repay the general obligation bonds by generating enough stadium revenue. According to The Nevada Independent, Clark County already had to dip into its reserve fund twice to meet financing obligations for the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium, which required $750 million in public funding.
A lot has happened in the past few weeks with the A’s and Sin City.
The A’s initially announced a “binding agreement” to buy a 49-acre plot of land near the In-N-Out Burger off The Strip on April 20, before announcing another “binding agreement” at the Tropicana Lot with Bally’s Sports and Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) on May 15.
Aside from the $395 million in public funds the A’s are asking for, they reportedly have been granted the land for free in the tentative deal, saving an estimated $180 million. GLPI has also pledged to contribute “$175 million towards certain shared improvements within the future development in exchange for a commensurate rent increase.”
Even if tight-fisted A’s owner John Fisher falls short of his $395 million public financing goal, he’s still getting a sweetheart deal from Bally’s and GLPI.
The light continues to dim on Oakland baseball, but mayor Sheng Thao has left the door open for negotiations if the A’s deal with Vegas falls through. ABC7’s Casey Pratt has reported that there was an $88 million funding gap for the project before the A’s shut down negotiations, as local governments had secured about $375 million for crucial off-site infrastructure. For what it’s worth, the OaklandBallpark.com site which was maintained by the A’s and featured their plans for a Howard Terminal Ballpark in West Oakland, has been shut down.