You can’t make this stuff up. The Scarecrow (John Fisher, no brain) and The Tin Man (Dave Kaval, no heart) want to call it a yellow brick road leading to Oz, hoping no one will notice that it’s actually a trail of half eaten Cheez-Its leading to a desert.
I can imagine Kaval trying to sell me a used car, standing on the passenger side raving about the sheen off the new paint and then panicking when I start to walk around the driver’s side and yelling, “Don’t go over there, where are you going?...OK, it’s half a car. The point is, a car is involved.”
That may be good enough for Nevada’s lawmakers and for Rob Manfred, but it isn’t good enough for reality. Here’s where we are in the “late stages” of the relocation process...
According to the rules, a relocation application is not supposed to be submitted until it is known where the team will play up to the time a new stadium is ready. So the A’s submitted the application this week, with Kaval confirming that the A’s have determined they will play, from 2025-2027...somewhere!
Apparently, “We know where the A’s will play” means “We’ve narrowed it down to one of three options, and never mind that there are reasons why each one might completely fall apart.”
The 3 finalists for the honor of calling the A’s their home team from 2025-27 are the home of the Giants (Oracle, SF), the home of the Avaitors (Summerlin, Las Vegas), and the home of the A’s (Coliseum, Oakland).
Oracle already hosts numerous concerts and other lucrative attractions, so the Giants have said that in this scenario the A’s would likely be limited to about 40 home games there. Thus, Oracle is not even being floated as a “temporary home,” just “part of a temporary home”. Kind of like that half a car Kaval wanted me to purchase on a “trust me!” basis.
Also complicating matters is that the two sides would have to work out how to split everything from ticket, concession, souvenir, and parking revenues to a rental amount for the venue. Two greedy parties trying to agree on how to split a lot of money? Sounds easy. (Not)
Regardless, if the A’s are not being offered 81 dates there, Oracle is only a solution in partnership with another solution so really we are down to “2 to make 1” if you are going to need to tap into the Oakland or Las Vegas venues.
Las Vegas Stadium
What’s not to love here? The home of the Aviators has everything you would want! (On Opposite Day)
Its capacity is only 8,196 but with standing room you can squeeze 10,000 fans in.
It doesn’t have any sort of roof or dome but the weather in Summerlin is pretty mild, assuming you enjoy temperatures of 94 degrees (May), 100 degrees (June), and 116 degrees (July).
The clubhouse facilities are fine for AAA but not mistakable for a big league setup. And due to the temperatures, only evening games can be played even if your opponent is flying cross country after the game with no off day.
If the A’s come crawling to the Coliseum Joint Authority begging for 3 more years on their lease, it’s because Plans A and B went up in smoke and desperation has reached the Mayor’s desk.
Which makes you wonder why Mayor Thao’s response would be to try to help the A’s successfully leave Oakland when they have nowhere to go for 3 years.
“Pound sand” would make a good succinct response, but another one would be to set rent at $126.67M each year, adding up to the $380M Nevada lawmakers have told the public they should spend on stadiums instead of schools or social services.
Thao could then explain that Oakland will spend the rent money on schools and social services, effectively meaning that Nevada’s lawmakers have funded responsible use of public money, just not for Nevada.
When the A’s explain that this rent is too high, Thao can present Fisher with some sand and Kaval with a mortar and pestle, paid for out of the $10,000 surplus rent (thanks, rounding up decimals!).
When you look at the 3 options together, if Oakland decides to negotiate to force the deal to collapse, the only path that seems to have any potential legs is a complex mish-mash of playing June, July, and August home games at Oracle, with April, May, September in Summerlin — the former wrought with much complexity of negotiation and the latter pretty far removed from anything you would associate with a big league experience.
Sounds like it’s all settled and we’re ready to submit the application!
Retractable Roof? Dome? Fans with Fans?
With the A’s selecting a construction manager for the new Las Vegas stadium, the question was raised as to whether the stadium design will include a retractable roof or a dome, noting that the initial “renderings” (a charitable term) included a retractable roof.
According to the SF Chronicle, the A’s responded by admitting “that feature is likely not in the cards for a stadium crammed onto that small parcel of land”.
YOU DON’T SAY?????? It’s almost as if we’ve been saying that ever since the 9-acre parcel was selected and any fan with a ruler could check out other stadiums, do the math, and confirm there wasn’t room for a retractable roof.
So that leaves the specter of the ugliest of all baseball monstrosities: the domed stadium. Where fly balls go to get “lost in the roof” and where aesthetics go to die quietly. There is also the unanswered question of why tourists, or residents, in an air-conditioned hotel or home, will want to go out into 100-116 degree temperatures to get to this climate controlled stadium. Are the A’s planning also to give out “small personal domes” to each season ticket holder to get to and from the stadium?
I could go on and on about how flimsy, poorly thought out, and not-actually-very-far-along this whole debacle is, or how we won’t know until November if a referendum might cause that $380M to vanish overnight. But Casey Pratt has provided a wonderful Cliff’s Notes version of the whole thing so I will leave you with that:
You can’t make this stuff up.