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A’s president plans return trip to Las Vegas in ‘near future’

Updated August 20, 2021 - 8:54 pm

OAKLAND — Athletics president David Kaval said Friday he plans to visit Las Vegas again in the near future as the major league baseball team continues conversations that would keep the franchise in Oakland.

Kaval reiterated the need to have a parallel path with Las Vegas and Oakland.

“It’s important we have multiple options,” Kaval said. “We’re really running out of time here at the Coliseum.”

Kaval didn’t seem fazed by the negative reaction from Bay Area media and A’s fans stemming from his four previous trips to Las Vegas.

“The focus is really on making sure we get resolution on this stadium saga, and that is the No. 1 focus,” Kaval said. “We have to actually find a place to play. We have to solve the stadium challenge that we’ve had for a generation and ensure the A’s have a place — a major league stadium — for a major league team.

“And really that’s our focus right now. And we’re going to do everything we can to make it happen. That’s why we have multiple paths the league has sort of dictated, and we’ll continue to do that and take direction from them.”

Kaval seemed weary of the process to keep the team in Oakland because the environmental and economic issues that must be mutually agreed to build a 35,000-seat stadium as part of a waterfront development that he stressed is essential in a two-team market that they share with the San Francisco Giants.

“We’re running out of time,” Kaval said before the A’s played host to the Giants. “We have a lease here (at the Coliseum) through 2024, and the facility here is probably 10 years past it’s useful life. So we need to know to have a better sense of the direction that we’re going to have as a club.

“As a major league baseball team, you need a major league stadium. We’re in a dangerous situation where that may not happen. That’s really the focus.”

Kaval acknowledged that financial negotiations with the city of Oakland are ongoing, but the focus has been on other issues such as environmental studies and design guidelines at the waterfront site that could cost about $12 billion, according to published reports.

“There are like eight or nine processes going,” Kaval said. “And all of those processes are continuing. So we’re working toward that. We’re funding that, and we’re hopefully those things can hit on timelines that make sense.

“And we’re also waiting to hear what happens with (Alameda) County (on a tax plan), because that was a big part of the city’s proposal to us. We’re waiting to see where that plays out over the next month.”

The Athletics have played at the Coliseum since 1968, when they moved from Kansas City. But the facility is antiquated and has coped with many infrastructure issues, such as faulty plumbing.

“I think we’ve been very clear,” Kaval said. “The league has been very clear. This site does not fit the 21st century vision for baseball in North America.”

Mark Gonzales is a freelance baseball reporter who covered the Chicago teams for the last 15 seasons. Follow @MDGonzales on Twitter.