Oakland Athletics have been approved to build a new ball mark on the site of the Tropicana Las Vegas Casino and Resort after the franchise’s relocation plans were approved by the MLB.
Having been based in the Bay Area city of Oakland since 1968, the A’s will leave its current base to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2017, with the relocation given the seal of approval in a unanimous vote at the MLB’s quarterly meeting in Texas.
As a result of this, an agreement signed with betting and casino operator Bally’s Corporation back in May can begin to come into effect. The duo agreed terms to construct a 35,000-seat retractable roof stadium at the Tropicana resort, to the tune of $1.5bn.
This will be backed by $380m in public funding, backed by a bill passed by the Nevada State Senate. Las Vegas has been seeking to diversify its city economy, which has historically had gambling at its centre, but cultivating a vibrant sports scene.
Commenting on the initial May agreement, Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval said: “We are excited about the potential to bring Major League Baseball to this iconic location. We are thrilled to work alongside Bally’s and GLPI, and look forward to finalising plans to bring the Athletics to Southern Nevada.”
Las Vegas is currently home to three major league sports franchises. The Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL are themselves a relocated Californian side, having also moved from Oakland in 2020.
Meanwhile, the expansion of the sports scene was further accelerated when the NHL expansion team Vegas Golden Knights began playing from the 2017-18 season onwards, whilst the WNBA side Las Vegas Aces also call the city home.
Bally’s has not yet commented on the MLB’s vote, but has divulged plans and expectations for the A’s new ballpark over recent months. The Rhode Island-based firm projects 2.5 million visitors to the venue each year, whilst the stadium will be located on nine acres of the Tropicana site.
The Tropicana will be closed whilst construction is completed, with all staff contracts being terminated simultaneously. Bally’s has also added that it is ‘evaluating all available options for a broader redevelopment of the remainder of the site that will be adjacent to the new ballpark’.
Following the 2018 repeal of PASPA, sports betting has grown at a rapid pace in the US with over 37 states and Washington DC approving betting. The following years saw many companies move quickly to secure partnerships with sports franchises and leagues.
Bally’s has been no exception to this, signing deals with the high-profile leagues of the NHL, NBA and MLB as well as team partnerships with the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA and now the Oakland A’s.