Major League Baseball owners have unanimously approved the move of the A’s to Las Vegas from Oakland, after a vote on Thursday at their meetings in Arlington, Texas. A MLB representative confirmed the vote.
The fourth move for the vagabond franchise isn’t slated to occur formally until 2028, when a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat ballpark is completed on the Las Vegas Strip. The A’s are scheduled to play at the Oakland Coliseum through the 2024 season, when their current lease expires.
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Where they will play the following three seasons has yet to be determined. Options include the Coliseum, Oracle Park in San Francisco, which is owned by the Giants, or the A’s minor-league ballpark in Summerlin, Nev., just outside of Vegas, which seats about 10,000 and can be expanded to double that number. But the last of those would seem to be a nonstarter for both MLB and the Players Association because it’s an open-air facility and games would have to be played there during the 100-degree summer heat.
The A’s needed 75% of the league’s owners to vote for approval to move and will be the first MLB franchise to do so since the Montreal Expos left for Washington and became the Nationals in 2005. It’s only the second MLB franchise to relocate since the Senators moved from Washington to Texas in 1972.
The A’s played in Philadelphia until 1954 and Kansas City until moving to Oakland in 1968. The current ownership is the fourth to control the franchise since it moved west. John Fisher bought the team in 2005 and has worked to build a new ballpark in multiple local cities since then.
The move follows months of protests by A’s fans at home games and at a recent meeting of the Oakland City Council. When a trio of disgruntled Oakland fans approached Fisher at this week’s meetings in Texas, he told them his patience had been exhausted after almost two decades of trying to resolve the ballpark issue.
“It’s been a lot worse for me than you,” he said.
On June 15, both houses of the Nevada state legislature passed a bill appropriating $380 million toward the new retractable roof ballpark. The A’s still have to identify about $1.1 billion in private funding to build the new facility.
Subsequently, the A’s filed an application for relocation with MLB and the Nevada State Education Association established a political action committee to collect 102,000 signatures to put a measure on the ballot for a public vote in Nevada’s four…