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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Rob Manfred: MLB ‘not sure we see a path to success’ for new A’s ballpark in Oakland

Manfred began by saying it’s “kind of beyond debate at this point” that new stadiums are necessary in both cities, adding: “Oakland, probably critical just in terms of the condition of the ballpark.”

“Particularly in the case of Oakland, we’ve had to open up the opportunity to explore other locations, just because it’s dragged on so long,” Manfred said. “And frankly, in some ways, we’re not sure we see a path to success in terms of getting something built in Oakland.”

Asked again if relocation is a possibility, Manfred said: “Yeah, (it) is a possibility. Yeah. I mean, they’ve been talking to Las Vegas. It’s gotten a lot of publicity, but there are options in terms of relocation in addition to Las Vegas.”

The A’s have proposed a $12 billion development project in Oakland that includes a $1 billion privately financed waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal. A’s officials also have made about a half-dozen visits to the Las Vegas area to explore relocation possibilities since MLB permitted that in May.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 01:38 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics

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   1. The Duke Posted: October 13, 2021 at 05:18 PM (#6046153)
This makes sense to me. Oakland just needs to adopt the Giants. The A’s should get a payout from SFG for moving.

What are the other cities? Sacramento could work. Nashville, Montreal, Charlotte are all East Coast and I likely. Austin?

I’m guessing it has to be Vegas.

   2. Traderdave Posted: October 13, 2021 at 06:20 PM (#6046162)
Sacramento is a maybe based on already having some number of A's fans. But even the strongest expansion candidates are marginal at best. MLB can be fairly said to have filled its footprint already.

But goddammit, Oakland has offered the A's 400-something million to help them develop some real estate that will make a billionaire even richer. That's 400 more than they deserve and 400 more than Oakland - a city beset by a housing shortage and violent crime -- has any sound basis for forking over to a for-profit non-essential entertainment business.

I'll be sad to see them go, but Oakland is very much at the "pound salt" stage here, and I will not blame the city a bit for telling them to do just that.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: October 13, 2021 at 07:25 PM (#6046169)
What does a "handful of finalists ... in Vegas" mean? As in "here are 4 potential sites for a stedium"? Whoop-de-doo, that means you're still years from settling on a site, then there's another couple years to rip off the city, then another couple years to get it built. "We have taken one step closer to leaving Oakland in 6 years' time, so you better pony up a couple billion."
   4. Zach Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:21 PM (#6046177)
What does a "handful of finalists ... in Vegas" mean?

It's a way to make the same old threat sound fresher without spending any money or making any commitments to Las Vegas.

It seems to me that the teams who are really interested in moving just move. The teams that keep on talking about Las Vegas just want a better deal where they're at.
   5. Zach Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:25 PM (#6046179)
Not having followed the story closely, it seems like the A's have put real money and effort into an Oakland plan that has some real problems. (It's a working port, people!) The Vegas stuff, not so much.
   6. Zach Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:32 PM (#6046181)
Like, if you don't own the land you'd be building on, does it really mean anything to have a handful of finalists for architecture firms? I'm sure every sports architecture firm in the world will send you a conceptual design if you ask, just to stay involved in the process. But that doesn't mean any money is changing hands.
   7. John Northey Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6046186)
2028 - that is the year to watch. Rays contract with the ugly dome ends after 2027 and no way they renew. Right now they are likely moving to Montreal. I suspect the owners are wanting to add 2 more teams and if Oakland moves to Vegas then the 30 current teams are set with new parks or long term setups. Nashville, Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio, and others are on the potential list.
   8. Tin Angel Posted: October 13, 2021 at 09:07 PM (#6046190)
In other A's news, the great Ray Fosse died today.
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 14, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6046226)
Is Vegas really that good of a market? The city itself is just no. 26 per the census, a little smaller than Charlotte and Portland. But the bigger issue is there's nothing outside of it because it's in the middle of a desert. The MSA is a little bigger than I thought - no. 29 (behind Charlotte and Portland again) - but that still doesn't suggest a very good TV market.
   10. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 14, 2021 at 09:47 AM (#6046240)
I'm so old, I remember when it looked like the NBA was going to be the first major sport in Las Vegas. Now, it's looking like the NBA will be fourth on the list (even fifth, as they're looking at an MLS franchise, too!)
   11. DL from MN Posted: October 14, 2021 at 09:59 AM (#6046248)
Is Vegas really that good of a market? The city itself is just no. 26 per the census, a little smaller than Charlotte and Portland. But the bigger issue is there's nothing outside of it because it's in the middle of a desert. The MSA is a little bigger than I thought - no. 29 (behind Charlotte and Portland again) - but that still doesn't suggest a very good TV market.


It's a market full of people looking for live entertainment and a mecca for sports gambling. It's not going to get great local TV ratings.

I understand people traveling to Las Vegas to see their favorite NFL team on a Sunday. They can make a weekend out of it and catch a late flight home.

I sort of understand people traveling to Las Vegas in the winter to see hockey, though I'm not sure it will last long. I don't think people will travel to Las Vegas on a Tuesday in July to see their favorite baseball team play in 120 degree weather.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#6046251)
It's a market full of people looking for live entertainment and a mecca for sports gambling. It's not going to get great local TV ratings.

I understand people traveling to Las Vegas to see their favorite NFL team on a Sunday. They can make a weekend out of it and catch a late flight home.

I sort of understand people traveling to Las Vegas in the winter to see hockey, though I'm not sure it will last long. I don't think people will travel to Las Vegas on a Tuesday in July to see their favorite baseball team play in 120 degree weather.


Not to mention that the casinos will absolutely NOT want their customers spending 6-11 PM in the evening at the ballpark. That's prime gambling time. Football, the punters come fro the whole weekend and spend Noon-5 PM Sunday at the game. The nights are free for gambling. If someone comes in for a three games series, most all of the prime gambling time is absorbed by baseball.
   13. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6046257)
If someone comes in for a three games series, most all of the prime gambling time is absorbed by baseball.


I wonder if they'd play a lot of day games. It would have to be an indoor (or retractable roof) stadium regardless. No one wants to sit in that heat, even in the evenings. But since they're not going to attract a significant TV audience anyway, I wonder if they'd play a lot of afternoon games or early evening games - 4 PM start times, leaving the spectators free to gamble by 8 pm (or earlier if MLB ever gets its act together). I know there are some restrictions on game times, but I think those are mostly to make sure there's enough time between one game and another when a team is traveling. Unless a visiting team played a night game in a different city the previous day, they should be okay to schedule mostly day games. I'm sure there are a hundred things I'm not thinking of as to why it would be a bad idea, but it seems an interesting possibility.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 11:02 AM (#6046260)
Is Vegas really that good of a market?


No, you and #11 raise all the problems with it. But baseball wants a new stadium. Nashville and Portland would be better relocation options IMO, even Sacramento, but Vegas is probably closer to dig-ready.
   15. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6046261)
Isn't MLB looking into doing gambling at the stadiums now?
   16. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2021 at 11:11 AM (#6046262)
The city of Vegas wants people coming to the city for a variety of reasons
   17. . Posted: October 14, 2021 at 11:29 AM (#6046266)
Baseball's not going to work in Vegas. Football's football and all you need to make hockey work is like 25,000 dedicated fans.

From the non-sports adult perspective, I'm just done with the already extremely rich turning to and banding with government to make them extremely richer. It's just nauseating and revolting at this point and it extends far beyond just sports palaces. Somehow as a country, we need to get together and reverse this, pronto.
   18. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 14, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6046271)
Re 17: Half the teams in MLB would kill for 25,000 dedicated fans. (And if I'm the A's, I'd rather have 25,000 dedicated fans in Vegas than the 8,767 (per game) that straggled into the ballpark in Oakland this year.)
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 12:47 PM (#6046286)
Re 17: Half the teams in MLB would kill for 25,000 dedicated fans. (And if I'm the A's, I'd rather have 25,000 dedicated fans in Vegas than the 8,767 (per game) that straggled into the ballpark in Oakland this year.)

What chance is there of 25,000 dedicated fans in Vegas?
   20. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 01:04 PM (#6046293)
Vegas is a turd of a market. Anybody who moves there is going to regret it.
   21. BurlyBuehrle Posted: October 14, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#6046307)
From the non-sports adult perspective, I'm just done with the already extremely rich turning to and banding with government to make them extremely richer. It's just nauseating and revolting at this point and it extends far beyond just sports palaces. Somehow as a country, we need to get together and reverse this, pronto.


Yes. Very much yes.

(And if I'm the A's, I'd rather have 25,000 dedicated fans in Vegas than the 8,767 (per game) that straggled into the ballpark in Oakland this year.)


Of course, this ignores the fact that the A's have spent the past few years intentionally tanking attendance, so that they can cry about bad attendance as leverage. Despite these putrid numbers, they're already raising prices for 2022.

And don't get me started on their cynical "Rooted in Oakland" campaign of the last decade or so.
   22. DL from MN Posted: October 14, 2021 at 01:51 PM (#6046311)
Despite these putrid numbers, they're already raising prices for 2022.


This is a red flag. Complain about attendance and raise prices?
   23. The Duke Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6046314)
Is this the first time the commish has suggested they might leave? That usually quite telling. It does seem like they want to stay in Oakland though. Can they do what the Braves did and move to a city just outside Oakland and still be in what people consider Oakland ?

Richmond, Berkeley, alameda?
   24. cookiedabookie Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6046316)
Sacramento might be the best landing spot for them tbh. Not too far away, plenty of population and tech companies to support a team
   25. Walt Davis Posted: October 14, 2021 at 05:02 PM (#6046368)
There's no issue with night games. The casinos are awash in big name (and "big" name) evening entertainment and always have been -- it's part of the draw, not part of the competition. And while a baseball team there would be hoping to draw in enough tourists to profitably supplement the local fans, the majority of attendance will still be local fans who aren't the casinos' clientele for the most part.

While no doubt they provide a nice profit margin, the number of people who want to spend the majority of a weekend glued to a blackjack table is teeny. (And based on Australia, most of the big money is Chinese tourists not likely to wander off to a baseball game.) With the spread of casinos and sports gambling across other states, the number of such people who need to travel to Vegas to do so is getting smaller.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 07:03 PM (#6046387)
There's no issue with night games. The casinos are awash in big name (and "big" name) evening entertainment and always have been -- it's part of the draw, not part of the competition.

That entertainment is in the casino, not 5 miles away. A show of a fight gives people something to do for 1-2 hours, but keeps them on your property. Sending your clients out to a separate facility to spend four hours away is a totally different animal. They may not come back to your casino; there are plenty of others for them to stop at.
   27. Brian C Posted: October 14, 2021 at 07:58 PM (#6046401)
The Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators apparently drew about 6,800 fans per game this last season, for whatever that's worth.
   28. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2021 at 08:07 PM (#6046403)
Las Vegas now has hockey. This is not an issue.
   29. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: October 14, 2021 at 10:54 PM (#6046461)
Little known fact: Percy Bysshe Shelley was actually a time traveler from our future, and the "antique land" in Ozymandias is Las Vegas.

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