Nevada lawmakers on Monday will hear a financing proposal to build a new Major League Baseball stadium in Las Vegas as Sin City prepares to be the new home of the Oakland Athletics baseball team.
The Nevada Legislature is holding a public hearing for the plan — which, if passed, would OK up to $380 million in incentives for a new field for the Oakland Athletics. Under the plan, Nevada would forgo up to $180 million, in the form of transferable tax credits to the developer, capped at $36 million per year. About $120 million in county bonds, issued by Clark County, would help construction costs and be paid off gradually under the plan.
The legislature's approval would be the first step for the stadium financing and construction plan, which would then need to be approved by MLB's 29 other team owners. If those hurdles are met, the Athletics are aiming to begin construction next year, CBS Sports reported.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that a vote on the Athletics' prospective move could take place when owners meet again in New York between June 13 and 15.
The Athletics have called Oakland home since 1968 but are hoping to move to Sin City by 2027, and have signed an agreement to that effect. The team's lease at Oakland Coliseum runs through 2024, CBS Sports reported. Las Vegas would be the fourth home for the franchise, which started as the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901, moved to Kansas City in 1954, then relocated to Oakland in 1968.
The proposal's price tag and behind-the-scenes negotiations have sparked debate about public subsidies and equity in state economic development efforts, the Associated Press reported.
Proponents say that Las Vegas has an increasing capacity to support major league professional sports, and that bringing the Athletics to the Strip would add sustainable jobs to an area hit especially hard by the pandemic. Opponents argue the stadium is not worth hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies, especially as the A's management has switched proposed locations and drawn out negotiations for how much public assistance they are requesting. What's more, economic research demonstrates that sports stadiums are a poor investment of public funds, rarely making back the money spent on them.
Nevada voters are evenly split on the financing, according to a poll earlier this month from the Nevada Independent.
The A's have been looking for a home to replace the Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since 1968. The team previously sought to build a stadium in various California locations — first at Fremont, then San Jose, and finally the Oakland waterfront — but the ideas never materialized.
Lawmakers have until June 5 to act on the proposal, when the four-month legislative session adjourns, although it could be reviewed later if a special session is called.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- Oakland Athletics
- Oakland A's
- Las Vegas
Khristopher J. Brooks is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch covering business, consumer and financial stories that range from economic inequality and housing issues to bankruptcies and the business of sports.
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