LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As Oakland continues to play hardball with the Athletics, the door remains open to them relocating to Las Vegas. Wednesday, the A’s were thrown a curveball as the Seaport Planning Advisory Committee put an unexpected halt to their plans on building a new ballpark in Oakland.
"That was an unfortunate situation," A's president Dave Kaval said. "Yesterday, the Seaport Planning Advisory Committee voted 'no' on our project. They decided to choose a parking lot over the ballpark and associated development. So, we are now kind of regrouping and seeing if we can get a vote or an affirmative vote of the body that sits above them.”
Kaval also added what is needed for the A's to move forward and stay in Oakland. There are two "big hurdles" left, he said.
"One is the development agreement, the economic deal with the City of Oakland," Kaval explained. "We're waiting on a lot of documents from the city. Secondly is the Bay Conservation and Development Commission approval, the one where we had the setback yesterday. So those are the two that are required. You have to get both. You have to run the table, or the project will be dead in Oakland.”
Despite the setback, plans are moving along for a potential site in Las Vegas. The A’s have narrowed the search down to five plots of land.
“We have a handful of these sites," Kaval said. "I think every one of the sites is viable and exciting and would provide an incredible fan experience for both locals and visitors."
He says the sites are in Las Vegas' resort corridor, either east of Interstate 15 or west of Interstate 15.
"So, it's about working a deal with the landowner or the partner and hopefully ensuring it can be a win for all the stakeholders," he said. "So we're working diligently on that."
As time winds down for a decision, Kaval says having a Major League Baseball team in Las Vegas could help the game in more ways than one.
“I really think for baseball as a whole, a sport that in many ways needs to reinvent itself and obtain more fans who are younger," said Kaval, "a team in Las Vegas could be kind of the hallmark of that. It would be a lighthouse for ideas and thought leadership and ways to promote the sport and create more excitement. So, I think the entire league would be helped if there was a team in Las Vegas, whether it's the A's or an expansion team in the future.”