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Wednesday, May 24, 2023

A’s, Nevada legislators close to finalizing Las Vegas ballpark deal

The Oakland Athletics and state lawmakers are inching closer to a deal that would see up to $380 million in public money go toward the team’s planned $1.5 billion Las Vegas MLB ballpark, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Review-Journal.

The public contribution would include $180 million from the state in transferable tax credits, of which $90 million would be repaid over time from stadium revenues.

Clark County would contribute $150 million. Of that total, $125 million would come from bonds taken out by the county and repaid from a tax district set up around the proposed Tropicana Las Vegas stadium site. The county also would agree to pay for $25 million in infrastructure improvements to the stadium site.

The total public funding commitment would fall between $350 million and $380 million, depending on when the bonds are purchased and the interest rate tied to them.

The A’s would be responsible for any amount that surpasses $380 million, the source indicated.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2023 at 09:23 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, las vegas

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   1. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: May 24, 2023 at 12:22 PM (#6129911)
Funny how $380 million plus whatever the Tropicana people were pledging ($175 million I think) is way less than what they were trying to get out of Oakland, plus there is no additional development $$ because the A's aren't also developing any housing or other stuff as part of this deal. Of course many of the things that were in the Howard Terminal proposal were pie-in-the-sky (performing arts complex?) I heard that Oakland was trying to pitch the Howard Terminal project again. I doubt the A's would reverse course again, but do the economics really make sense in either location?
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2023 at 02:00 PM (#6129926)

To go through all that only to end up in another publicly owned stadium that will deliver Fisher no other obvious revenue streams and in a smaller market is just such an L. He could have rebuilt a stadium at the Coliseum site if this is all he wanted and would be much better off.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: May 24, 2023 at 02:18 PM (#6129929)
To go through all that only to end up in another publicly owned stadium that will deliver Fisher no other obvious revenue streams and in a smaller market is just such an L.

At this point, the Ls just kind of all run together for the A's.
   4. Zach Posted: May 24, 2023 at 05:45 PM (#6129960)
Passive aggressive complaints about Las Vegas market size begin in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
   5. Zach Posted: May 24, 2023 at 05:48 PM (#6129961)
But yes, moving to another city to chase less public money in a smaller market seems like a stunningly bad outcome.
   6. The Duke Posted: May 24, 2023 at 05:50 PM (#6129962)
It's absolutely impossible to tell if one deal is better than the other or what deal in Oakland was actually do-able. This happens all the time in corporate M & A. Investors catch wind of a deal that was "better" than the eventual deal that got done and go nuts. In every case the "the better deal" either didn't exist or had a ton of hair on it
   7. Walt Davis Posted: May 24, 2023 at 09:35 PM (#6130003)
True, I suppose, to paraphrase every young player who signs a long-term buyout, $380 M in the hand is better than $500 M in the bush. Of course this deal ain't done yet either.

I'm sure I don't really want to know but what's a "transferrable" tax credit. Does that just mean that if these guys sell the A's then the tax credits go along with the team? Or does this mean the A's owners can sell or otherwise transfer these tax credits wherever they want? Or soomething else completely?
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2023 at 10:20 PM (#6130009)
I covered a LOT of these BITD and the numbers always are bogus.

one key is that sports owners have such a knack for getting public subsidies dressed in sheep's clothing.

Neil DeMause at has been on top of these for decades.

his take on this scam is here

"If the eventual bill comes packed with hidden subsidies, meanwhile, the narrative is somewhat different: Fisher taking advantage of the end of the Nevada legislative session to play a desperate Hail Mary that could end up nabbing him a huge subsidy from Nevada, all for a baseball team that nobody wants to see because it can’t really play baseball after Fisher sold off all its best players."

   9. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: May 25, 2023 at 01:45 AM (#6130029)
his take on this scam is here

Many good quotes in that article. My favorite is "It would be a remarkable self-own"

Looking at John Fisher's wikipedia page, he is a good example of someone who "failed upward"

After graduate school, he took a job for a real estate company that did business with his parents' company, the Gap. The business was not successful and he became president of Pisces Inc., the Fisher family's investment management company.[3] He established a relationship with Lewis Wolff to jointly purchase several Fairmont hotels in San Francisco, which led to his investment in the Oakland Athletics.[3] He also has stakes in Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes and Scotland's Celtic football club.[3]

Fisher has been the majority owner of the Athletics since he and Wolff closed on their joint purchase of the team in 2005 and is now also the managing general partner. In November 2016, Wolff sold his 10% share[5] in the Athletics to Fisher giving Fisher full ownership of the team.

In April 2022, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.4 billion.[1]

What we really have here is someone who has inherited a lot of money, but otherwise hasn't really been successful, other than purchasing the A's, the San Jose Earthquakes, and a Scottish soccer team. The Earthquakes have been the most successful of these various ventures. Interestingly enough Fisher/Wolff built the Earthquakes stadium (seating 18,000 people, rather small) for $100 million, completely privately financed.

The A's during the Woff/Fisher tenure have been (relatively) successful with analytics, but remarkably unsuccessful with many other things, from relationships with their broadcast stations, to free agent signings, to keeping their minor league teams (Sacramento for years was the A's minor league club, now it belongs to the Giants) to maintaining their fanbase. I wouldn't put it past them to have screwed this whole venture up royally as well. But we shall see on Friday.
   10. parkermo Posted: May 25, 2023 at 02:38 PM (#6130090)
the A's, the San Jose Earthquakes, and a Scottish soccer team. The Earthquakes have been the most successful of these various ventures.

This is vicious, diabolical, Catholic-hating slander!

But it looks like that Wikipedia page is just horribly sourced. Celtic are publicly traded as Celtic PLC on the LSE, and he isn't listed at all, and isn't on the board of directors. The linked article from the Wikipedia page doesn't even mention Celtic. So, that's weird.
   11. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: May 25, 2023 at 04:18 PM (#6130104)
Apparently a deal has been struck. Hard to get details, but it looks like the Tropicana will not be torn down, the park will be built next to it, and the A's will get about $500 - $600 million, including ~$200 million in free land.

There were earlier reports about a publicly-financed retractable roof stadium. No mention about that in this article. Who knows?

A's strike deal - (be warned, this is a New York Post article)
   12. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 25, 2023 at 08:14 PM (#6130135)
Sadly the best possible Vegas name for a baseball team is already taken by the WNBA.
   13. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 25, 2023 at 10:05 PM (#6130153)
it looks like the Tropicana will not be torn down

For a second, I thought the A's were moving to St. Pete...pretty funny, considering the Bay Area's other baseball nearly did exactly that!
   14. The Duke Posted: May 26, 2023 at 11:02 AM (#6130214)
Again, if the Vegas deals "looks" worse based on poorly sourced newspaper articles it likely means

A). The Vegas deal is better than being reported
B). The Oakland deal is worse than being reported
C). Some combo of A and B

When one person controls ownership and is very rich, it's possible that a non-economic decision may be made (I live in Vegas, I don't want to fly to Oakland, I don't like the weather in Oakland, etc etc ) but unlikely. His ownership is about 80% so he does have minority owners who also want the best economic deal. Billy Beane owns 4% of the club, I believe.
   15. DL from MN Posted: May 26, 2023 at 11:31 AM (#6130220)
Do they think it will be easier to sell to a new owner in Las Vegas?

BTW - what happens to the Oakland market rights when they vacate? Do the Giants get them for free?
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2023 at 02:33 PM (#6130239)
Stadium renderings now available.

The proposed ballpark site is on nine acres of land to the southeast of South Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue. A team statement that accompanied the renderings confirms that the ballpark has a projected capacity of 30,000, which would be the smallest capacity among Major League Baseball stadiums....

The renderings show the ballpark's outfield opening to the north toward the Strip's southernmost casinos, with an entry plaza on the southeast corner of South Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue. The plaza leads to a ballpark entrance above left field.

Varying images show the outfield to be both open and glassed-in, indicating there would be some form of retractable enclosure at the park.

   17. The Duke Posted: May 26, 2023 at 03:39 PM (#6130254)
I've been wondering about the Oakland rights too. Do they revert to SF? Did the A's owner get a back door payment from SF to leave and SF got MLB to cede the rights ? This feels like why owners may have wanted to move so badly - maybe they were paid to move. MLB doesn't want another Baltimore/Washington issue
   18. Buck Coats Posted: May 26, 2023 at 03:51 PM (#6130256)
BTW - what happens to the Oakland market rights when they vacate? Do the Giants get them for free?

I think somehow San Jose gets them??
   19. You can keep your massive haul Posted: May 26, 2023 at 05:12 PM (#6130265)
Stadium renderings now available.

Those renderings are not even close to real. There is no hotel on the property and the foul lines are the same as the Coliseum. Maybe they will share with the Raiders again?
   20. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: May 26, 2023 at 05:44 PM (#6130271)
The weirdest thing is the most prominent thing in those renderings is the MGM Grand, which is not affiliated with the project or Ball's whatsoever.

It's also not clear whether they intend to demolish the Tropicana and build a new hotel next to the stadium, or what. It's impossible to see from the pictures, since they cannot be zoomed-in on (at least I was not able). The Tropicana site is 35 acres, the A's get 9.

   21. A triple short of the cycle Posted: May 27, 2023 at 02:19 PM (#6130383)
Raise your hand if you think the A's will build a ballpark at this location. [My hands are down.]
   22. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 27, 2023 at 06:51 PM (#6130404)
1. A's move to Vegas.
2. Giants move to Oakland.
3. A's move to San Jose, which they wanted to do anyway.
4. Prophet!

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