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Las Vegas mayor rebuffs Oakland A’s move to town – but then backtracks

By Amy Woodyatt, CNN

(CNN) — Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman isn’t so sure about the Oakland Athletics’ pending relocation to Sin City, saying: “I personally think they’ve got to figure out a way to stay in Oakland.”

Goodman told Front Office Sports (FOS) that she believes the team’s plan for a stadium at the Tropicana casino site don’t make sense.

Major League Baseball owners unanimously voted in November to approve the relocation of the A’s out of the Bay Area, where they have played since 1968, to Las Vegas.

The team’s lease at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum ends following the 2024 season, and the franchise is set to start playing baseball in Nevada in 2028 in a new stadium on the Las Vegas Strip at Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue, on the site of the Tropicana hotel.

Goodman told FOS that the city had initially shown the team’s owners a site with around 60 to 100 acres in the “historic, old part of town … where all major interstate highways come together” and with seven access points.

But when the owners chose the nine-acre Tropicana site, Goodman said: “I thought, ‘This doesn’t make sense. Here’s a great site, they get a great price on it because it’s owned by the city…’

“And yet, no, they’re going to go out – want to get closer to the Strip, with all of the congestion and everything. And I thought, ‘This does not make sense. So why is it happening?’” she said.

She added: “And then I thought because they really want to stay in Oakland. They want to be on the water. They have that magnificent dream and yet they can’t get it on.”

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had previously said he and A’s managing partner and owner John Fisher had wanted the club to stay in Oakland and find a stadium solution, but a deal never materialized with the city.

“I personally think they’ve got to figure out a way to stay in Oakland and make their dream come true,” Goodman added of the team.

But the mayor later backtracked, issuing a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, which clarified: “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.”

Goodman said that among many topics covered in the podcast, “I mentioned the passionate fans of Oakland who often visit our city to cheer on the Raiders.”

“My points included that 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.”

Las Vegas has seen a dramatic rise in sporting opportunities. Back in 2016, the city had no major league franchises and it will now have four: the NHL’s Golden Knights, the WNBA’s Aces, the NFL’s Raiders and the relocated Athletics.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Ben Church contributed to this report.

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