Oakland Athletics’ Move to Las Vegas Approved by MLB Owners, Spells Trouble for Tropicana

On November 16, 2023, the Major League Baseball (MLB) team owners voted unanimously to approve the Oakland Athletics’ move to Las Vegas. This decision removes the final obstacle from the plan, which required a two-thirds vote from MLB’s 30 teams. The move to Las Vegas will make the A’s the first MLB team to relocate since 2005, when the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals.

The A’s will join the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, and the NFL’s Raiders as the fourth professional sports team in Las Vegas. The vote was considered a formality since the plan was endorsed by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, following years of disappointment over the state of the nearly 60-year-old Oakland Coliseum and the lack of interest from local governments in funding a new ballpark.

This move will mark the fourth city to host the A’s since its inception in 1901, with previous stops in Philadelphia and Kansas City. In June, the Nevada Senate approved $380 million in public financing for the construction of a 30,000-seat ballpark estimated to cost $1.5 billion. The new stadium is expected to open in 2027, at the earliest.

The vote also means the end of the Tropicana, which sits on the 9 acres of the 35-acre Bally’s site where the stadium is planned. The Tropicana, which opened on April 4, 1957, as a Cuban-themed property, has been the Strip’s third-oldest continually operating casino resort since the Riviera was imploded in 2016. Demolition of the Tropicana is expected to be completed by late 2024.

Overall, the relocation of the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas marks a significant shift in the sports landscape and is poised to have a lasting impact on both cities.