LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As the chatter over the Oakland Athletics’ move to Las Vegas has died down, many in the valley have been asking if the team’s proposed and legislature-approved transition to Southern Nevada will happen, and if so, what are the next steps?
“The next step is Major League Baseball getting the owners together, having a vote, and allowing the As to pursue moving to Las Vegas,” said Steve Hill, CEO and President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
Hill said his team believes the approval should come soon and would preface agreements with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority on development, a lease, and non-relocation.
After those agreements are in place, Hill said the Athletics organization would work with Clark County on building the new stadium and infrastructure surrounding it.
Many in the Las Vegas community have questioned if the planned location for the MLB team stadium on a nine-acre site on the Las Vegas Strip at Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue would ultimately be the home of the former Oakland baseball franchise when it lands in Las Vegas. Hill was clear: the location is tied firmly to passed legislation.
“The A’s committed to building on that site while we were in the legislative process,” Hill said. “And it says in the law that it will be built on the southeast corner of Tropicana on Las Vegas Boulevard.”
The move to Las Vegas for the Athletics franchise has been divisive, with some in the region proclaiming that the entertainment capital of the world doesn’t need the baseball team. Hill says that the question shouldn’t be if Las Vegas needs the As, but rather, does Las Vegas need the stadium that comes with the team?
“There are events that we are turning around that are not Major League Baseball, that need a venue to play in and that stadium is going to be a perfect place for those events,” said Hill
The ballpark, expected to accommodate about 30,000 fans, is projected to bring 400,000 new visitors to Las Vegas, Hill said, making for an efficient public investment into the new stadium with two major factors coming into play.
“It helps create jobs. It will create jobs in the community, and they’ll be good jobs, and it creates tax revenue,” Hill said.
The project is expected to create three times as much tax revenue as is being invested, Hill said, adding that those funds can be spent on valley schools and roads. As for how to ensure that money is allocated to those purposes, Hill said the Nevada Legislature determines the tax revenue streams.
“It’s hard for people to see a direct connection between an event at Allegiant Stadium and the collection of those taxes and deposit in the general funds of Clark County and the State of Nevada,” Hill said. “I get the skepticism, but those things are real. I mean, that actually happens. […] and everybody in the state feels that, whether they know that that’s the source of that tax revenue or not.”
Although the deal to move the Athletics franchise to Las Vegas is not technically “done,” Hill said he expects a successful process that sees the team arriving in Southern Nevada.
“The legislation gives the stadium authority 12 months, and then we have the ability to extend for six months to get this deal done,” said Hill.