Major League Baseball owners Thursday morning approved the A’s relocation to Las Vegas, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The vote reportedly was unanimous among the 30 league owners.
The move was expected, but it’s only the next step in the relocation process, and there are still hurdles to clear for the move. Earlier this year, the Nevada Legislature approved $380 million to help finance a new ballpark on the Las Vegas Strip.
The proposed 30,000-seat ballpark would cost as much as $1.1 billion, and a location has been identifed on the Tropicana Hotel site near Allegiant Stadium, where the Raiders play, and T-Mobile Arena, where the Golden Knights of the NHL play.
The A’s have one more year left on their lease at the Oakland Coliseum, and it’s unclear where they will play their home games beyond that, as a new ballpark in Las Vegas would not open until 2027 at the earliest.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has stated extending the Coliseum lease could come with stipulations, as the city seeks guarantee of a future expansion team and that the A’s name would stay in Oakland.
The A’s have tried to stay in Oakland or somewhere in the Bay Area for years. In 2006, they proposed a ballpark in Fremont, about 25 miles south in the East Bay, but abandoned the plan three years later. San Jose, 40 miles south of Oakland, was proposed in 2012, but the San Francisco Giants blocked the site because it was part of that team’s territory.
The A’s chose a site in the Oakland area near Laney College only to have it rejected by the college and neighbors, then focused on the Howard Terminal area of Oakland. While some approvals were gained, a financing plan was never reached.
It’s the MLB’s first approved relocation of a franchise since the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
NBC Sports Bay Area and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: NBC Bay Area