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There’s even more trouble for the Oakland Athletics’ proposed move to Las Vegas

Now there’s a lawsuit, and the mayor of Vegas weighs in.

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Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A couple of weeks ago, I posted this article summarizing all the issues and roadblocks that stand in the way of the Oakland Athletics moving to Las Vegas, even though MLB owners have already approved such a move.

As part of this proposed move, A’s owner John Fisher was able to somehow lobby the Nevada legislature into granting him $380 million to help build him a stadium.

Monday, a lawsuit was filed claiming that bill was illegal, as reported by Evan Drellich in The Athletic:

A teacher-backed political action committee on Monday sued the state and Gov. Joe Lombardo, challenging the legality of the bill that last year granted $380 million in public money to a new Las Vegas stadium for the A’s. The lawsuit, which also names state treasurer Zach Conine, is the second effort aimed at the A’s brought by the Nevada State Education Association, one of Nevada’s teachers’ unions.

Here’s the reasoning behind the suit:

The suit alleges that the bill actually required a two-thirds majority vote in both Nevada’s Assembly and Senate to pass, rather than a standard majority vote, because that’s how the state is supposed to treat legislation that creates public revenue.

The suit also claims SB1 doesn’t satisfy requirements to provide cost calculations and that the state is going to wrongly assume debts from Clark County, where Las Vegas is situated.

I don’t pretend to know whether this suit has merit or wether the teachers’ union will win it, but one thing seems possible: That this lawsuit will delay construction of the new stadium Fisher hopes to build on the site of the Tropicana Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Regardless of whether a stadium goes on that site or not, the Tropicana is closing in April and preparations for its demolition will begin.

There’s also the issue of where the A’s will play after their lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires after 2024, which I covered in the previous article in this series.

The whole thing is a big mess, and beyond the $380 million in public money that’s supposed to be allocated in Nevada, the stadium cost is likely to be well over $1 billion and where’s the rest of that money coming from?

Lastly, it’s worth listening to this podcast from Front Office Sports:

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman applauds the city’s rise as a sports destination with one exception: the Oakland A’s. Mayor Goodman told Front Office Sports that she believes the team’s plans at the Tropicana site don’t make sense and that the team ought to stay in Oakland.

Mayor Goodman is correct, in my view. There’s still time for John Fisher to sell the A’s and a new owner return to Oakland’s leaders, who have a proposal on the table for a stadium in Oakland, one that Fisher has refused to consider.

Or Portland, where they seem to have a good plan in place.

What a fiasco John Fisher has created.


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