LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas mayor said it doesn’t make sense for the A’s to move to Sin City and they should remain playing ball in The Town.
"They … want to get closer to the Strip with all the congestion and everything," Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Tuesday on the Front Office Sports Today podcast. "And I thought, ‘this does not make sense.’"
Goodman said that Oakland A's owner John Fisher "needs to listen to the people that are up there (in Oakland). It’s their team."
She was speaking about Major League Baseball's effort to build a new $1.5 billion ballpark along the Las Vegas Strip.
Fisher is trying to move the A’s onto nine acres on the Strip, currently the site of the Tropicana hotel casino.
Baseball: Overall aerial view of RingCentral Coliseum during Oakland Athletics vs Los Angeles Angels game.
But so far, Fisher hasn't delivered the architectural renderings, a funding plan and the site where the team will play after the Oakland Coliseum lease expires following the 2024 season, Front Office Sports reported.
The Las Vegas stadium isn’t supposed to open until 2028, at the earliest.
If she had to, Goodman would rather see a ballpark built on a larger site in north Las Vegas.
But if she had her ultimate way, Goodman said on the podcast that she does not believe the A’s would be a strong fit in Las Vegas.
Goodman said that she's "lived in this town 60 years, and so I know the town like the back of my hand. I personally think they’ve got to figure out a way to stay in Oakland and make their dream come true."
Members of the Oakland 68's, an Oakland sports superfan group, said they're glad Mayor Goodman is supporting MLB fans in the Town, but some are surprised.
"During the last few years, we’ve heard reports of Mayor Goodman openly courting the A’s, trying to get them to come to the city [of Las Vegas], so to hear her say something like that was pretty surprising," said 68's board member Dennis Biles.
In a statement after the podcast, which she sent to KTVU, Goodman wanted to clarify some of her points.
"I want to be clear that I am excited about the prospect of Major League Baseball in Las Vegas, and it very well may be that the Las Vegas A’s will become a reality that we will welcome to our city," she wrote.
A's fans said the fight is not over.
"It can only benefit Oakland if the A’s stay here," said 68's board member Anson Casanares. "Vegas deserves a ball team, but an expansion team."
"Some people are more unhappy about it than we realize," said Biles.
Mayor Goodman also noted how many devoted Oakland A's fans currently visit Vegas to cheer on the Raiders, who also used to play in Oakland.
"It is my belief that in their perfect world, the ownership of the A’s would like to have a new ballpark on the water in Oakland and that the ownership and government there should listen to their great fans and try to make that dream come true," Goodman reiterated.
"Should that fail," she continued, "Las Vegas has shown that it is a spectacular market for major league sports franchises."
Mayor Sheng Thao said in a statement responding to the remarks, "I agree with Mayor Goodman 100%! Keeping the A’s in Oakland is what’s best for everyone including Las Vegas."
Her statement went on to say, "My door is open to John Fisher and to anyone else that has the means and desire to purchase the A’s and keep them in the Town. We have the plan, the sites, and the money. Let’s keep the A’s rooted in Oakland."