MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke on Tuesday regarding the future of the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays who are in need of brand new stadiums and where they could move to if they don’t get them in Oakland or Tampa Bay (ABC 7 News file photo)
By Charlie O
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was in New York on Tuesday and was speaking and attending the CAA World Congress of Sports. He was asked about the stadium plans for Oakland and Tampa Bay that was provided via video by the Sports Business Journal.
Manfred admitted that the stadiums plans are at the critical point saying the Oakland Coliseum is in such poor condition, “particularly in the case of Oakland” Manfred said “we’ve had to open up the opportunity to explore other locations, just because it’s dragged on so long”
What are some of those locations? Manfred and Oakland A’s team president David Kaval have only explored Las Vegas and Kaval himself has made several trips to the Vegas South Nevada greater area looking at places just outside of Vegas like Henderson and mostly Summerlin home of the A’s triple A team the Aviators.
The list goes on of cities who want a MLB team either the Tampa Bay Rays who just were eliminated in the ALDS playoffs and the Oakland A’s who had a competitive season chasing the first place Houston Astros but failed to make post season.
Amongst those cities: New Orleans, Montreal, Indianapolis, Portland, Orlando, Nashville or Las Vegas. The list actually has more cities but these are the top places mentioned but Vegas being the most serious amongst those. What works against Vegas is that the community is “stadiumed out” having new stadiums for the Vegas Golden Knights, Las Vegas Aces, and the Las Vegas Raiders not to mention UNLV basketball. Also Las Vegas is the 39th ranked TV market in the country and Oakland is in the sixth largest TV market.
The city of Las Vegas will grow from a non big league market to a four team pro market with their top college basketball team UNLV. Nothing officially decided yet but word is to no ones surprise Vegas is the front runner for getting the A’s.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff said that nothing has changed and that it’s been frustrating getting the Howard Terminal agreement to get signed and agreed upon, “The commissioner remains very frustrated and impatient as am I about the progress toward locking down the Howard Terminal project.”
Schaff said that the next big move is when the Alameda County Board of Supervisors meet on Oct 26th to vote on using tax district dollars that would pay for the project and would help construct the surrounding infrastructure. Schaff said that the commissioner wants a total commitment for the developing and financing of affordable housing and public parks to make this a complete success and going forward with making the new A’s park a success.