OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland A's are set to visit Las Vegas this week and the leaders of Portland, Ore., next month, as they explore the possibility of moving out of the Bay Area.
The A's have wanted out of the Oakland Coliseum for years.
And the team is waiting for a decision on a multi-billion dollar proposal to build a waterfront stadium at Howard Terminal along Jack London Square.
Earlier this month, the team made the announcement that they would look at other cities for a new home.
Its contract at the Coliseum runs out in 2024.
The team's president and major club officials will meet with Vegas government leaders this week as part of a fact-finding trip to learn more about what a move to Sin City would look like.
Meanwhile, the team waits to see what the city of Oakland may do in terms of approving a new stadium.
Team president David Kaval has said in the past that the team is considering all options.
"Well, I think it's important to remember the commitment the A's have made over the last four and a half years to Oakland," he said last week. "You know, no other team has even tried to stay. If you remember what happened to the Warriors and the Raiders. So we have a very willing team and a league that wants a team here, but we need a partner in the city that wants to meet us at least part of the way there."
As Kaval sees it, the only path for keeping the A's in Oakland is the project at the waterfront.
"I think we're at the point where we're running out of time at the current site at the Coliseum, our stadium," he said. "We can barely keep the lights on some nights. And we really want to see if the city council wants to approve our vision for the waterfront in Oakland."
Oakland city council members sent a letter to the MLB pleading to keep the A's from relocating saying the city is committed to negotiating for a strong future.
The council is expected to look at the Jack London Square proposal in July.
Mayor Libby Schaaf said she's committing to keeping the A's in Oakland.
However, on Monday, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman told KTVU that her city has "always been open to active conversations with Major League sport franchises as they seek new locations and expanded community support. For over 20 years these talks have included dialogue with league commissioners, and for the Oakland A’s these have been occurring since 2019. Las Vegas is excited."
But despite the visit to Vegas, the team is now reportedly planning a visit to Portland, per Oregonian writer John Canzano.
Professor of sports management at the University of San Francisco Nola Agha said meetings with cities are likely an attempt to put a fire under the feet of Oakland city council members to bring the A's vision to life.
"There are two things happening here; one, they are putting pressure on the city of Oakland to pass any legislation that's necessary to continue to build at Howard Terminal," said Agha. "At the same time, it's tradition for professional teams in the United States to move where the owners get the best deal."