That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Las Vegas Casinos give Full Support to A’s

Southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue on the Las Vegas Strip the proposed new location for an Oakland A’s new ballpark (photo from Amaury Pi Gonzalez)

Las Vegas Casinos give Full Support to A’s

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Oakland A’s owner John Fisher and President Dave Kaval made another trip to Las Vegas, trying to select their site to build a new stadium, since they have not been able to move forward with their proposed Howard Terminal by the Port of Oakland.

On Wednesday Oakland A’s top brass met with casino magnates in the North Strip and downtown resorts operators who gave the A’s their full support for their $1 billion stadium. Scott Sibella, President of Resorts World, Las Vegas and a group of casino magnates welcome the A’s executives “We reinforced our support that we believe the best site is on the Sahara/Las Vegas Boulevard,” Sibella wrote in an email. “Having the A’s in Las Vegas will be great for the Strip properties and the Las Vegas community. “The meeting did not discussed economics, only that the A’s will have our full support” Sibella said .

Derek Stevens, co-owner of the Circa, Golden Gate and the D.Properties downtown confirmed Wednesday meeting, adding that the key players want to see the A’s relocate to Las Vegas for several reasons. “I talked with ownership in John Fisher and their President Dave for a while yesterday”, Stevens wrote in a text message. “This is very good for Las Vegas, very good for jobs, very good for hotel rooms (i.e. the LVCA). The key thing is getting the location nailed down and moving forward.

Nevada’s recently elected Governor Joe Lombardo is not willing to have any taxes on the people in order to help build the A’s ballpark in Las Vegas, but he also said that there are other ways to accomplish this without taxing the people. This recent trip by Fisher and Kaval to Las Vegas was a big step for the A’s in their “parallel plan” to seek a new stadium in Las Vegas or Oakland.

There has been no news from the City of Oakland who is dealing now with a set of issues including new elected council members and a new Mayor. As of mid-afternoon of Thursday, the A’s have not disclosed any details on their meeting yesterday in Las Vegas. The A’s only have one more year (2024) after this season when their lease expires at the Oakland Coliseum.

Does the City of Oakland wants the Oakland A’s? Or is Las Vegas a step closer today to welcoming this historic American League franchise?

This is a developing story

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at

A’s get a double whammy loss on Howard Terminal with no federal funding and Supreme Court appeals loss on hazard materials push on recycling plant

The Oakland A’s attempts to make Schnitzer Steel an environmental hazardous liability failed when the State Supreme Court ruled that Schnitzer is treating it’s recyclables with water and cement that satisfies their landfill dumping. Could this be a show stopper for the A’s Howard Terminal project? (photo of Howard Terminal by the Port of Oakland)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–This week was a double loss for the Oakland A’s they were turned down for federal funding as ruled by the state Supreme Court as they lost a lawsuit to classify recycling company Schnitzer as a hazardous waste recycler and wanted to get them classified as such.

Last Tuesday a spokesperson for the City of Oakland said that federal funding for the Oakland A’s were denied funds that would help the Oakland A’s Howard Terminal project in the amount of $182 million. The A’s will not receive any of the monies from the federal Transportation Department’s Megaprojects.

According to the Oakland Department of Transportation director Fred Kelly the city will continue to explore other avenues in trying to secure funding sources. Kelly said that he and the city will look for sources that will help finance and get the project off the ground. The A’s goal is not only a new ball park at Howard Terminal but also development for 3,000 residential units, commercial space, retail, an indoor performance center, 400 hotel rooms, and public space.

The City of Oakland has secured government grants amounting $321.5 million that would help pay for the infrastructure. The $321.5 million is still short as the city sought funding, $55 million for regional grants, $25 million for other federal grants, and $60 million in state grants.

The City is also seeking a limited obligation bond for $150 million. Kelly’s efforts in seeking another $182 million is crucial for the funding of the project and Kelly will have to find what government agency who will be willing to kick in.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said is committed to keeping the A’s in Oakland and said during her inauguration that she wants to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland and wants to protect Oakland’s values. Sheng did say that she hopes the A’s and the city can reach an agreement that safeguards the tax payer and the city.

With the federal department of transportation turning down the A’s for the $182 million the A’s lost a Supreme court appeal decision on Wednesday that would reclassify car recycling company Schnitzer who are located next to Howard Terminal as a hazardous materials outfit that are a environmental threat which deposits hazardous materials in landfills. Schnitzer recycles unused and junked automobiles.

The state department of Toxic Substances Control said that the mix of recyclables of scrap metal, plastics, lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc has been made safely for landfill deposit as the recycler mixes the material with cement and water which acts a cover over soil in landfill. The A’s argue that materials mixed next to the ball park and Howard Terminal project is a environmental threat being next door.

The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco found that the recycled material is not a threat and did not contaminate air or water and does not threaten humans. The Department of Toxic Substances Control reviewed the study and said that the recycled materials in the landfill that was treated with the water and cement did not bear any threat to people near the plant or landfill.

The A’s main goal to building the project is to move Schnitzer out of Howard Terminal but Schnitzer whose been at the Howard Terminal location for decades does not want the A’s at the location likewise. Schnitzer with cargo operators, port workers, and truckers have filed lawsuits saying their businesses are not an environmental threat. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman ruled on lawsuits back in September saying safety measures are in use and that the work that Schnitzer does doesn’t contribute to air pollution.

The state of Nevada’s newly elected governor Joe Lombardo has not made it clear where he stands on using state public funds to bring the A’s to Las Vegas. Previous governor Steve Sisolak said he would not use public funds for the A’s ballpark but would consider using other avenues to fund the project. Sisolak was voted out of office and Lombardo has been quiet about funding the A’s stadium project.

Lombardo who has been more focused on other political issues like abortion, immigration and catalytic converter thefts. If Lombardo follows Sisolak’s method of using other ways to find money to pay for a new ballpark that could put the A’s funding in play. The A’s have been silent on any commitments on moving to Las Vegas as both scenarios for staying in Oakland and moving to Las Vegas are not quite clear.

The A’s have spent plenty of money on lawyers to move to Howard Terminal already. The A’s most likely location to move to in Las Vegas is at the Tropicana hotel and casino site on the strip but that might have to be done with private money. The A’s will be playing in Las Vegas’ minor league ballpark of their affiliate the Aviators March 4th and 5th and will evaluate the crowds for that weekend and where they go from there.