LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Major League Baseball team owners voted to approve the Oakland A’s move to Las Vegas, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed Thursday afternoon.
The vote comes around six months after the A’s reached a tentative agreement for a new stadium in Las Vegas, after being unable to reach a deal for one in Oakland.
“There was an effort over more than a decade to find a stadium solution in Oakland. It was [A’s owner] John Fisher’s preference. It was my preference,” Manfred said at a news conference following the vote. “This is a terrible day for fans in Oakland. I understand that and that’s why we’ve always had a policy of doing everything humanly possible to avoid a relocation and truly believe we did that in this case. I think it’s beyond debate that the status quo in Oakland was untenable.”
Earlier this year, the Oakland Athletics announced a deal had been reached to build a new stadium on the current site of the Tropicana hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Nevada lawmakers even approved $380 million in public financing for a ballpark which is projected to cost a total of $1.5 billion.
Many local fans, meanwhile, had vehemently opposed the move. Some even teamed up to send letters and A’s merchandise to other MLB ballclub owners, to try to persuade them to vote no on approving the relocation.
A few hundred fans also crammed the Oakland City Council chambers earlier this month, chanting “Stay in Oakland!” at a recent meeting. The City Council unanimously passed a resolution that reaffirmed its support of the A’s staying in Oakland.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, meanwhile, was a supporter of the A’s relocation to Vegas. Team owners reportedly had similar views, as Thursday’s vote was said to be unanimous, according to the AP.
The A’s lease at the Coliseum expires after the 2024 season and it remains unclear where the team will play before a new ballpark opens, in 2027 at the earliest.
Upon their arrival in Las Vegas, the A’s will have had homes in four different cities — the most of any MLB team. The A’s played in Philadelphia from 1901-54, then moved to Kansas City for 13 seasons before going to California. The new stadium will be the team’s fifth after Columbia Park (1901-08), Shibe Park (1909-54), Memorial Stadium (1955-67) and the Coliseum.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.