Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has now signed in Senate Bill 1 securing funding for the Oakland Athletics baseball team to move into a $1.5bn, 30,000-seat ballpark in Las Vegas on land currently filled by the Tropicana. Owner Bally’s Corp. is now considering when the Tropicana will be demolished and whether a new resort casino will be added alongside the new stadium.
Governor Joe Lombardo said: “I’m excited to officially sign SB1 this afternoon. This is an incredible opportunity to bring the A’s to Nevada, and this legislation reflects months of negotiations between the team, the state, the county, and the league. Las Vegas’ position as a global sports destination is only growing, and Major League Baseball is another tremendous asset for the city.”
“Today is a significant step forward in securing a new home for the Athletics,” the A’s added in a statement. “We thank Nevada Governor Lombardo, Legislative leaders, and Clark County Commissioners and staff for their hard work, support, and partnership.”
The land the Tropicana is built on is owned by Bally’s and Gaming and Leisure Properties. They have offered the A’s 9 acres of the 35-acre site for free, despite the land being worth an estimated $180m. The SB1 bill will bring further funding with $380m of public money, $180m from the state and $145m from Clark County.
Bally’s Corp. Chairman Soo Kim confirmed that with public financing deal finalised, planning can now get underway with larger and smaller resort casinos being considered.
Mr. Kim said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We still need to talk to the A’s and make sure we’re coordinating on timing. We put up as much money as the county or the state and we did that because the economic benefits, to us, were clear. The market size itself wouldn’t necessarily merit a team, but because you have tourism and its the world-famous Strip, I just think it’s an amazing opportunity for the sport, as well as the state.”
He added: “The A’s told me that the best way to do baseball is to have a distribution of parking spots and a walking experience. So whatever is built we’ll be a beneficiary of. But just as close of a beneficiary is MGM, because they are literally on three of the four corners. People will absolutely park at one of the MGM properties and walk across. That’s good for them, good for us and good for everyone.”
Las Vegas already boasts Allegiant Stadium, Michelob Ultra Arena and the T-Mobile Arena with Mr Kim adding that Las Vegas Boulevard ‘will be the avenue of sports.’