LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas is officially in play as a potential new home for the Oakland Athletics.
A spokesperson for the A's confirmed to 13 Action News on Tuesday that team officials will be traveling to Southern Nevada next week to explore possibly relocating the team to the Las Vegas valley.
13 Action News spoke with Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones to find out if he thinks the Athletics could be a fit in Las Vegas.
"Baseball is taught here, all my friends have kids in baseball, and having the Aviators here, it's just been such a boon," said Jones reflecting on the recent growth of baseball in Las Vegas.
Jones points to the success of the Vegas Golden Knights, Raiders, and Aces already in Las Vegas, and believes the city can absorb a Major League Baseball team, too.
"I think it's a really exciting time to attract more professional sports teams here. Obviously, we have a lot of great local fans, potential local fans, but also we have the advantage of mega-resorts on the Strip," said Jones.
"We can attract folks from all across the country to come to Las Vegas and participate on the Strip, off the Strip," he added. "And so I think that gives us this unique opportunity here in Southern Nevada."
Jones says the Athletics haven't contacted the county commission yet, but he expects they will, considering the resort corridor would be an attractive place to build a brand new ballpark.
"We definitely haven't had those discussions. I would say, in terms of our other locations, you've got to look to the different locations that the Raiders previously looked at. There are definitely some spots south of the Strip that are possibilities. I read that the southwest valley's got some property off the 215 that's a possibility. But, obviously, we haven't had those types of discussions yet," said Jones.
We can probably rule out a couple of locations.
An official with the City of Henderson tells 13 Action News they haven't heard from the Athletics, although they would be open to working with the team.
Commissioner Jones adds the Las Vegas Ballpark probably isn't big enough to house a major league team. But even if Las Vegas gets an MLB team, Jones still thinks the city can continue to support the Aviators.
"I think you've seen that with the Golden Knights, with the Silver Knights, there's really an opportunity, as the ticket prices have gone up for the Golden Knights, there's still an opportunity for our community to watch the minor league teams, and I think that'll be the same thing," said Jones.
"It's great to go to an Aviators game, pay $20 and take the family. And I would assume that if a Major League Baseball team comes here, the tickets aren't going to be $20, and so I think the Aviators are going to do just fine with our locals here."