Oakland A’s Turned Down $1 Offer For Stadium Land In Las Vegas
The Oakland A’s making their way to Las Vegas is big news in the world of sports, and the world of Las Vegas.
It’s still going to a bit down the road – the road that, of course, will have to be paved, and re-paved again, and again, because it’s Las Vegas – before we officially put on the green hats, but it’s happening.
Here’s food for thought: Before the Oakland A’s entered an agreement to buy land in Las Vegas for a new stadium, they could’ve bought a plot for less than a ballpark hotdog. The A’s were offered 22 acres of the Rio Hotel & Casino site for $1, according to Eric Birnbaum, CEO of Dreamscape Cos., which bought the land in 2019.
According to The Nevada Independent Birnbaum said the transaction could have greatly reduced some of the costs associated with the land acquisition. “I’m a developer. That makes the development deal look a lot better,” Birnbaum said. “I’m pretty good at math [and] I would assume that if you had no land price, and another site did have a land price, that the total sum of dollars needed for a development of a stadium would be less than the site that did have a land price associated with it.”
The A’s rejected that location, and when a deal for the 37-acre Las Vegas Festival Grounds at the corner of the Strip and Sahara Avenue collapsed, the team announced a binding agreement last week to acquire 49 acres bordered by Tropicana Avenue and Dean Martin Drive as the site for a $1.5 billion, 35,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium and entertainment complex.
It isn’t known exactly how much the A’s agreed to pay, but one analyst estimated the cost at $150 million. The team can reportedly back out of the purchase if they don’t receive public funding from state and local governments. The Oakland A’s are is seeking $500 million toward a $1.5 billion stadium, with a retractable roof.
Despite the A’s turning all of their attention to Las Vegas, the city of Oakland is reportedly still open to striking a deal with the team. “If the A’s called me back, I’ll pick up the phone,” Oakland mayor Sheng Thao told NBC Bay Area. “It wasn’t the city that walked away from this negotiation summit.”
The team and city were prepared to hash out some final details when A’s president Dave Kaval called Thao to inform her of the land deal. “We were in the middle of negotiations,” said Thao. “I think we were the closest we’ve ever been. We very much wanted to get it done, but it was clear they weren’t being good partners.”
Locals in Las Vegas have a lot to say about this, but it seems no one asked them.
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