The Nevada state Senate passed a $380 million bill Tuesday to help fund a new stadium for the Oakland A’s in Las Vegas, the first step toward the expected move of the franchise.
After days of questioning from lawmakers about the wisdom of using public tax dollars to support a team owned by billionaire John Fisher, two amendments to the bill added Tuesday morning prompted a 13-8 vote in favor of the project.
While multiple steps remain to finalize the A’s move, the passage of Senate Bill 1 – in a special session called by Gov. Joe Lombardo, a proponent of Las Vegas adding a baseball team to the NHL’s Golden Knights and NFL’s Raiders – paves the ways for it to happen. If the 42-person Nevada Assembly approves it by a majority vote and Lombardo signs the bill into law, MLB owners plan to authorize the A’s to relocate and end the team’s half-century-plus-long tenure in Oakland.
The passage of the Senate bill comes on the same day A’s fans planned a so-called “reverse boycott,” in which they would show up to the moribund Oakland Coliseum wearing shirts that say “SELL” and encourage Fisher to unload the team rather than move it. A’s fans have abandoned the team this season after a Fisher-forced fire sale led to a depleted roster and the worst record in baseball, 18-50.
Instead of a potential expansion team, Las Vegas would inherit the A’s, who have proposed a 30,000-seat stadium – the smallest in MLB – on a nine-acre plot at the site of the Tropicana Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The original bill did not include specifics on the stadium site, which changed after the A’s announced in April they’d had a “binding agreement” for a larger parcel of land.
Senators sought other improvements from the original bill, including the use of a suite at the stadium for community groups, an annual $1.5 million donation to the community and resources toward helping homelessness in Las Vegas.
Additionally, two other measures that had been vetoed by Lombardo – providing 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for certain businesses and forcing monorail projects to comply with the state’s wage laws – were tied into the bill.