On November 16, 2023, the Major League Baseball (MLB) team owners unanimously approved the Oakland Athletics’ relocation to Las Vegas, marking the final step in the team’s plan to move. The approval only required a two-thirds vote from MLB’s 30 teams. This decision makes the Athletics the first MLB team to relocate since the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005. The move also makes them the fourth professional sports team in Las Vegas, joining the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, and the Raiders.
The vote, which was considered a formality given MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s endorsement of the plan, follows years of frustration from the team and its fans over the state of the nearly 60-year-old Oakland Coliseum and the lack of funding from local governments for a new ballpark. The team’s unsuccessful attempts to build a new stadium at Oakland’s Howard Terminal led to their decision to relocate.
Las Vegas will be the fourth city to host the Athletics. The team originally played in Philadelphia from 1901 to 1954, winning five World Series. After a stint in Kansas City, they moved to Oakland in 1968, where they won four more World Series. However, in recent seasons, the team has struggled, with their last World Series win in 1989 and their last appearance in 1990. The move to Las Vegas comes after the Nevada Senate approved $380 million in public financing for a new 30,000-seat ballpark estimated to cost $1.5 billion.
The proposed ballpark is not set to open until the 2028 season, and it is unclear where the Athletics will play after their lease with the Coliseum expires at the end of the 2024 season. Most experts expect the team to share the Las Vegas Ballpark with its Triple-A franchise, the Las Vegas Aviators, in the town’s Summerlin suburb.
In addition to the Athletics’ relocation, the approval vote also seals the fate of the Tropicana, which sits on the site where the new stadium will be built. The Tropicana, which opened in 1957, is expected to be demolished by late 2024. This move marks the end of an era for the Tropicana, which has operated as the Strip’s third-oldest continually operating casino resort since the demolition of the Riviera in 2016.