We’ve got lots of lockout time to discuss lots of baseball things, so let’s turn our attention to a non-Cubs news item.
While it has been assumed by many that a move of the Athletics franchise to Las Vegas is a fait accompli, last week a key step in the process to keep the A’s in Oakland was made, a reminder that any process for a new A’s stadium — whether in Oakland or Vegas — is going to take some time.
An Environmental Impact Report, a required step in the process, was released by the city of Oakland last week. Our friends at Athletics Nation covered this in detail, and I recommend you read that entire linked AN article, which has links to the entire EIR as well as a study of how a new A’s stadium would affect the area in which it’s constructed. The key, from the AN article, appears to be this:
It also felt good to keep the conversation centered on Oakland, as the specter of a move to Las Vegas continues to loom. Last month the A’s made headlines by putting in an offer for a plot of land in the Las Vegas Valley. They also surveyed fans in various regions to gauge interest in relocating the club, and on Friday Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the results of the market research “determined there was significant interest” in the idea.
The threat of leaving for Vegas ratchets up the urgency to get a deal done in Oakland, so the clock is still ticking. In addition to getting the EIR certified, the team and city must finish hammering out their financial terms before the project gets official approval.
So, there is still great interest in seeing the A’s in Las Vegas, but I still can’t help thinking that all the Vegas talk and the offer for land (which I covered here) is simply leverage to try to get the best deal they can in Oakland.
This tweet from the mayor of Oakland sure sounds like they’re serious about wanting to keep the A’s (the document referred to is the EIR):
This 3,500-page document ensures that the project is environmentally safe and sustainable. It also keeps us on track to bring the project for a final vote to the City Council in 2022 — and brings us one step closer to keeping our beloved @Athletics #RootedInOakland. pic.twitter.com/VYmBF64no5— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) December 17, 2021
The AN article concludes:
If all goes well from here, Alex Espinoza IV of The Rickey Henderson of Blogs suggests “we could be looking at June 2024 groundbreaking.”
June 2024 isn’t that far from now, and it seems doubtful any stadium in Vegas could be completed earlier.
As always, we await developments.
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