Rob Manfred hopes owners vote on A's Las Vegas move in November

ESPN logo
Thursday, September 28, 2023

NEW YORK -- Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred hopes owners will hold a vote on the Oakland Athletics' proposed move to Las Vegas when they meet from Nov. 14-16 in Arlington, Texas.

Manfred discussed the timetable Wednesday during an interview with The Associated Press discussing 2023 attendance. Las Vegas would become the fourth home for a franchise that started in Philadelphia from 1901-54, moved to Kansas City for 13 seasons and arrived in Oakland for 1968.

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.

The A's said in April they planned to move to a ballpark to be constructed in Las Vegas and agreed the following month with Bally's and Gaming & Leisure Properties to build a stadium on the Tropicana hotel site along the Las Vegas Strip.

The Nevada Legislature approved $380 million in public financing in June in legislation signed by Gov. Joe Lombardo. The A's then started the process of applying to MLB for relocation, a plan being considered by an owners committee chaired by Milwaukee Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio and that includes Philadelphia Phillies chief executive officer John Middleton and Kansas City Royals CEO John Sherman.

The committee will evaluate the team's application, define the new operating territory and television territory, then make a recommendation to Manfred and the eight-man executive council. The council formulates a recommendation to all 30 clubs, which must approve the move by at least three-quarters vote.

The A's entered Wednesday a major league-worst 48-109, their most losses since moving to Oakland. They drew 832,352 to the Coliseum this season, the fewest among the 30 teams. Their average of 10,276 was just over one-third the big league average.

Oakland's lease at the Coliseum expires after the 2024 season. A new ballpark in Las Vegas is not likely to open until 2028 at the earliest, and the team has not said where it intends to play until a new stadium opens.