As the Oakland Athletics continue to explore options for a new stadium in the Bay Area and Las Vegas, MLB’s commissioner cast a dark shadow on the prospect of a new ballpark in Oakland.
Speaking at the CAA World Congress of Sports, Commissioner Rob Manfred said he’s skeptical a deal for a new ballpark can be reached in Oakland.
“Frankly, in some ways we’re not sure we see a path to success, in terms of getting something built in Oakland,” Manfred said during the event in a video posted to Sports Business Journal’s verified Twitter account.
Manfred noted that Oakland and Tampa Bay, where the Rays play, are both in need of new stadiums. But Manfred said the situation is more dire in Oakland because of the condition of the A’s current home, RingCentral Coliseum.
“Oakland, probably critical just in terms of the condition of the ballpark,” Manfred said. “Whatever you want to say about Tampa, it’s playable for right now… Oakland is in a critical situation, we need to find a way to get new ballparks built in those two cities, or, particularly in the case of Oakland, we have to open up the opportunity to explore other locations, because it’s dragged on so long.”
The A’s were given the green light to explore possible relocation and team officials have taken six trips to Las Vegas since late May. Those trips have involved team owner John Fisher and president Dave Kaval touring over 20 potential ballpark sites and meeting with elected officials and key area stakeholders.
Kaval told the Review-Journal last month that the team expects to release a list sometime in late October or early November of the top three or four sites in Southern Nevada where the team has interest in building a possible $1 billion ballpark.
Those trips have been made while the team also continues negotiations on a ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal. A proposed $12 billion project would include a waterfront $1 billion ballpark surrounded by mixed-use development.
Although the A’s have been given permission from MLB to research the Las Vegas market, the possibility remains that other locations could be considered.
“They’ve been talking to Las Vegas and that’s gotten a lot of publicity,” Manfred said. “But there are options in terms of relocation in addition to Las Vegas.”
Manfred declined to comment further on the A’s ballpark search when reached Wednesday by the Review-Journal.