OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland Athletics signed a binding agreement to purchase land in Las Vegas for a future ballpark site, the team announced Wednesday night.
The A's say "the process to build a ballpark in Oakland has made little forward progress for some time."
Team president Dave Kaval said Wednesday night the team finalized a deal last week to buy the 49-acre site where the A's plan to build the stadium close to the Las Vegas Strip with a seating capacity of 30,000 to 35,000.
The A's will work with Nevada and Clark County on a public-private partnership to fund the stadium. Kaval said the A's hope to break ground by next year and would hope to be move to their new home by 2027.
"It's obviously a very big milestone for us," Kaval said. "We spent almost two years working in Las Vegas to try to determine a location that works for a long-term home. To identify a site and have a purchase agreement is a big step."
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It comes after years of negotiations between the A's and Oakland's government over a plan to build a new ballpark at Howard Terminal.
The plan has most recently passed through an environmental review, but a great deal still had to be ironed out.
The A's have lease to play their games at the Coliseum until 2024.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao released the following statement:
"I am deeply disappointed that the A's have chosen not to negotiate with the City of Oakland as a true partner, in a way that respects the long relationship between the fans, the City and the team. The City has gone above and beyond in our attempts to arrive at mutually beneficial terms to keep the A's in Oakland. In the last three months, we've made significant strides to close the deal. Yet, it is clear to me that the A's have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game - the fans and our residents deserve better.
I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished as a City, including securing a fully entitled site and over $375 million in new infrastructure investment that will benefit Oakland and its Port for generations to come. In a time of budget deficits, I refuse to compromise the safety and well-being of our residents. Given these realities, we are ceasing negotiations and moving forward on alternatives for the redevelopment of Howard Terminal."
Oakland Athletics' full statement:
"The A's have signed a binding agreement to purchase land for a future ballpark in Las Vegas. We realize this is a difficult day for our Oakland fans and community. For more than 20 years, the A's have focused on securing a new home for the Club, and have invested unprecedented time and resources for the past six years to build a ballpark in Oakland. Even with support from fans, leaders at the city, county, and state level, and throughout the broader community, the process to build a new ballpark in Oakland has made little forward progress for some time. We have made a strong and sincere effort to stay here.
We recognize that this is very hard to hear. We are disappointed that we have been unable to achieve our shared vision of a waterfront ballpark. As we shift our focus to Vegas, we will continue to share details about next steps."
The A's would be only the second MLB team to change cities in more than a half-century. Since the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers for 1972, the only team to relocate was the Montreal Expos, who became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
AP contributed to this report.
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