The MLB owner’s meetings are taking place this week in Arlington, Texas and the group is expected to approve the Oakland Athletics’ proposed move to Las Vegas according to a report by The Athletic’s Evan Drellich.
Per the report, MLB’s relocation committee outlined questions about the viability of the Las Vegas market and described the franchise’s potential success as “iffy” before handing it over to the owners for a vote. Despite those concerns and the relative unknown answer of where the team will play after their stadium lease expires in Oakland next season, MLB owners are expected to approve the measure on Thursday.
With the relocation vote looking like little more than a formality, the biggest hurdle for the potential move is school teachers in Nevada who are planning another legal challenge and wand the $380 million in funding that the A’s will receive from the state to a vote in a referendum. Commissioner Rob Manfred said during the World Series that should the teachers initiative be successful, then it would change the situation on the proposed move.
Where the team might call home after the 2024 season is not in the relocation committee report and hasn’t been discussed at the owner’s meetings. Drellich reports that continuing to play in Oakland or moving to another major league or minor league stadium is a possibility.
If they do elect to negotiate an extension to their lease in Oakland, then they will do so on the city’s terms. The mayor’s office in Oakland wants to keep the team, but if relocation is approved, they want to retain the A’s brand and franchise history along with securing a guarantee of an expansion franchise.
It has been rather obvious from the start that the Commissioner’s office is in favor of relocation so that the owners would rubber stamp the decision isn’t surprising. There are still several hurdles that will have to be cleared and the process isn’t finished by a long shot.