While the Athletics are trying to get a waterfront ballpark built in Oakland, they also are pursuing options in Las Vegas, something they continue to describe as a "parallel path."
The A's have had their eye on five different parcels of land around Sin City, but the Las Vegas Review Journal's Mick Akers spoke Tuesday to A's president Dave Kaval, who noted that the team has narrowed the choices in Las Vegas to two possible sites.
One plot potentially would be purchased outright by the A's, while the other would be a partnership with an existing resort.
"It’s kind of coming down to one that’s more of a joint-venture partnership and one that’s more of us going in alone, like the Raiders’ approach," Kaval told Akers. "We’re trying to balance the pros and cons of those and get to something that could be announced. But we want to be thoughtful because there’s a lot of complicated negotiations with anything like this and we want to make sure we respect the time, intentions and negotiating with all the parties."
The A's cleared a big hurdle in February when the Oakland City Council certified the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), but now the team is waiting for the Bay Conservation and Development Commission to hold a vote.
"We have a difficult challenge with this Bay Conservation and Development Commission. That’s an all-or-nothing vote," Kaval told Akers. "We've been working really feverishly with the staff and the commissioners to secure a positive vote on that. That is sometime in June. At the same time, we’re still continuing to work with the city on the development agreement."
Kaval and the A's believe having an option in Las Vegas is important because the city council approved a term sheet last July that the team didn't agree with. Akers reports that the team and city have been talking but that a new vote on a new term sheet hasn't been scheduled either.
"We're growing increasingly concerned that that has not happened," Kaval told Akers. "We’re really not sure why, but that’s another reason why we have a parallel path and having an option in Las Vegas that’s real and exciting and that could work for us, the league and everyone involved."
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The A's have struggled with attendance at the Coliseum so far this season after trading away core stars Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea. Mark Canha and Starling Marte also left in free agency. Despite some of the smallest crowds in Oakland since the 1980s, Kaval told Akers he believes the fans will come back.
For now, though, the fans are watching intently as the A's try to figure out if they will remain in Oakland or relocate to Las Vegas, just like the Raiders a few years ago.