Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman isn’t exactly extending a warm embrace to the Oakland Athletics, who plan to build a $1.5 billion stadium in her city.
In fact, the mayor, speaking on the Front Office Sports Today podcast, released Tuesday, said the team’s stadium plan “does not make sense” and A’s ownership should go back to the drawing board and pitch a new plan in the Bay Area.
“I personally think (the A’s have) got to figure out a way to stay in Oakland to make their dream come true,” she said.
The A’s ballpark is planned for a nine-acre parcel on the Las Vegas Strip, and Goodman said the congestion makes the site less attractive than a larger site in north Las Vegas, which she proposed. However, the mayor and the city do not have jurisdiction over the Strip, which falls under the oversight of Clark County instead.
“There are a lot of questions about whether that’s going to fit,” Goodman said on the podcast about plans for the stadium on the postage-sized lot.
A’s owner John Fisher also has drawn the ire of locals for his failure to share revised artists renderings of the park to show just how it will be situated on the lot.
Fisher’s plan is to finish the park in time for the 2028 season and leave the cavernous and worn out Coliseum in Oakland, the fifth-oldest stadium in the major leagues, after the team’s lease runs out following the 2024 season. The team has yet to secure a facility for the interim three seasons.
Plans to put $380 million of public financing toward the Las Vegas project also are being challenged legally.
Fisher failed to come to agreement with officials in Oakland on a new stadium at Howard Terminal along the water in the city and shifted his focus to Las Vegas.
Goodman told Front Office Sports that she surmised the Athletics “really want to stay in Oakland. They want to be on the water. They have that magnificent dream, and yet they can’t get it done.”
Although Las Vegas took the Oakland Raiders, she said the A’s belong in California.
“I just think there’s an appetite (in Oakland). I run into people from Oakland all the time. They want to keep the team, and it’s just the government up there. It costs money. … I love the people from Oakland. I think they deserve to have their team.”
After the podcast drew notice, Goodman took to social media to add context to her comments and said she was “excited about the prospect of Major League Baseball” in her city, though she didn’t back off her statement that Oakland and the A’s should try to make their relationship work in a “perfect world.”
Statement on today’s conversation about the Oakland A’s. pic.twitter.com/3dOXfFuq3d
— Carolyn G. Goodman (@mayoroflasvegas) February 6, 2024
Jorge Leon, president of the Oakland 68’s, a fan group, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Goodman’s stance was a positive.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Leon said. “We’re kind of surprised because we’re used to politicians saying, ‘C’mon down to our town.’ So it’s a breath of fresh air. We’ve been advocating stopping relocation, and when public money stops, I think relocation stops.”
Fisher has yet to comment on Goodman’s take on the podcast.
–Field Level Media