Updated July 9, 2021 - 10:21 am
If the Oakland Athletics aren’t able to strike a deal for a new ballpark in Northern California and find their way to Las Vegas, they could play in Southern Nevada even before a new stadium is built in the area.
With the A’s lease at RingCentral Coliseum expiring in 2024, the Major League Baseball franchise could utilize its Triple-A affiliate’s home, Las Vegas Ballpark, on a temporary basis.
Team officials acknowledge that the potential to play at the 10,000-seat stadium that opened in 2019 is being looked at as part of the team’s due diligence work in Las Vegas.
“That’s something we’re exploring as a possibility, because it’s hard to know how long these things are going to take,” said A’s president Dave Kaval. “We would have to understand all the different options and when things could occur. But since there is such a state-of-the-art facility already there, it’s at least an option.”
The $150 million ballpark, home to the Las Vegas Aviators, includes various seating options including 22 suites, 400 club-level seats and hundreds of party deck seats, in addition to an outfield pool area and a grass berm next to that.
There are various food options from local food vendors and stadium fare with ample parking around the stadium, at the adjacent Downtown Summerlin outdoor mall area and nearby Red Rock Station.
Aviators President Don Logan declined to comment for this story and officials with the Howard Hughes Corp., which owns the ballpark, did not respond to requests for comment.
If the A’s do end up at Las Vegas Ballpark, it wouldn’t be the first time a Major League team played in a non-MLB stadium.
Look no further than the current baseball season with the Toronto Blue Jays playing at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, home of their Triple-A affiliate, as coronavirus restrictions in Canada aren’t allowing the team to play at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays started out the season playing at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida, the team’s Spring Training site and home of their Low-A team.
Former Aviators fan-favorite and current A’s player Skye Bolt doesn’t see why a similar situation wouldn’t work in Las Vegas.
“I think temporarily, I don’t think anybody would have a problem with it,” Bolt told the Review-Journal. “I think teams coming in would love to play there because the ball kind of flies there … for the time being that we were there, I think that our team and a bunch of the guys in that locker room would enjoy it as well.”
With the Aviators averaging a near sellout crowd each game at the ballpark, Bolt noted the tremendous support the area provides the team.
“The Summerlin community is more than capable of supporting us,” Bolt said. “I just think it’s a matter of putting some pieces into place and putting them into motion and getting the ball rolling. I think temporarily and I say temporarily, I think that place would be fantastic. It draws 10-plus thousand a night and that’s all we really care about is that there is a little more boost behind us while we’re out there. While in transition I think that’s something that should sustain until we get moving into a more permanent location.”
Utilizing Las Vegas Ballpark as a temporary home could even be in play if the A’s work out a deal for their planned $12 billion Howard Terminal waterfront project, which includes a $1 billion stadium.
“We have challenges here with bridging to the point where the Howard Terminal could open and we’re going to have to work with the local authorities to get to that point and figure out the best course of action and how either a lease could be extended here or another option is developed that makes sense,” Kaval said.