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A’s to return to Las Vegas to continue ballpark site search

Updated August 24, 2021 - 4:40 pm

After a monthlong hiatus, Oakland Athletics brass will return to Southern Nevada this week to continue their search for a site for a Major League Baseball stadium.

Team owner John Fisher and president Dave Kaval plan to be in the Las Vegas Valley Wednesday through Friday, a team spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

It will mark the fifth time team representatives have been in the area as they explore possible relocation from Oakland. MLB officials gave the A’s permission to explore moving to Las Vegas three months ago, following snags in the process to get a new stadium project going in Oakland.

The A’s and the Oakland City Council have been discussing a $1 billion, 30,000-seat ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal. Late last month, the city council approved its proposal for a ballpark but the A’s found the offer unacceptable. Negotiations between the two sides have resumed in an attempt to bridge their differences.

This week’s trip will include a variety of meetings and site searches — as the A’s have done in the past — for a proposed 30,000-seat stadium here. After the group’s fourth trip in July, Kaval said the team had over 20 potential sites on its list.

That list appears to have grown: The team has interest in a site on Las Vegas Boulevard and Warm Springs Road next to the planned Brightline West high-speed train station. It would be accessible from Interstate 15 at Blue Diamond Road, the 215 Beltway at Las Vegas Boulevard or Warm Springs and be a few miles away from the south end of the Las Vegas Strip and McCarran International Airport.

That proximity to McCarran would require further evaluation from the airport and Federal Aviation Administration, according to Chris Jones, airport spokesman.

A similar scenario played out ahead of Allegiant Stadium’s construction because of its proximity to the airport.

Team officials will visit other sites to envision how a stadium could fit on each parcel of land. They have looked at sites in Henderson, the Las Vegas Strip, downtown Las Vegas and Summerlin.

Additionally, team officials will meet with area union representatives, community groups and their feasibility team, who are helping the A’s study the demographics of ticket sales and how parking and transportation could play out, the spokesperson said.

The A’s brass also will meet with Jeremy Aguero, principal with Applied Analysis, who serves as staff for the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, the team spokesperson confirmed. Aguero played a vital part in the Raiders’ relocation as part of the stadium authority. Aguero has a long client list in both the public and private sector, including the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson, Clark County, Station Casinos, the UFC and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Since the A’s brass began their exploration into the Las Vegas market, they have had tentative conversations with Hobbs, Ong and Associates about advising them on the financial aspects of ballpark construction, according to Guy Hobbs, managing director of the firm.

The financial consulting firm, co-founded by Hobbs and Katherine Ong Sisolak — Gov. Steve Sisolak’s wife — played a similar role in the Raiders’ relocation.

Hobbs said the site the A’s might choose to build a stadium would dictate how the funding mechanism would play out.

“If you recall with the Raiders, it (Allegiant Stadium) being located in the unincorporated county was certainly different than it being located within the city relative to certain things that could be done, with respect to financial mechanics” Hobbs said. “With the Raiders there was a public element with that and with the A’s I’ve heard the term public-private partnership mentioned.

“If there was a public element we would probably advise on that as well. That’s pretty much the role we had with the Raiders.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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