Oakland A’s Change Plans and Announce Deal to Build Stadium on Strip

The plans for the Oakland A’s to move to Las Vegas have received a curveball. After initially purchasing land west of the Strip, the team announced this week that they’d agreed to bring a new stadium right to the Strip.

The Bally’s Corp. has agreed to a deal allowing the MLB team to move to the location. The area would then be home to a new $1.5 billion stadium. The team had initially sought $500 million in public funding for a stadium, but the new property would mean reducing that total to $395 million.

“Bally’s plans to demolish the Tropicana and allow the A’s to construct a 35,000-seat retractable roof stadium on nine acres of the 34-acre site on Tropicana Avenue near the southern end of the Las Vegas,” the Nevada Independent noted. “The A’s were initially looking to secure legislative support for a $500 million public funding package involving tax credits and the creation of a special taxation district to help fund stadium construction. The team announced that it had reached a “binding agreement” with Red Rock Resorts in mid-April to acquire land to house the stadium, but recently moved to revisit other potential stadium sites.”

Details on the Agreement

The deal isn’t quite as simple as just purchasing the hotel and property. Many Las Vegas casinos feature land-lease deals and that’s the case with the Tropicana.

A real estate investment trust called Gaming and Leisure Properties owns the land the Tropicana is built on. Bally’s leases the land for the casino and the A’s would no longer need to pay for purchasing property.

Bally’s pays Gaming and Leisure $10.5 million each year as part of a 50-year lease agreement. As part of the deal with the A’s, the company is now expected to build a casino and hotel on the same property housing the new stadium.

The public funding aspect of the project remains unknown. The state has less than a month left in the legislative session and state representatives are awaiting more details from the team before introducing tax and funding proposals.

The new would remove the “binding agreement” with Red Rocks Resorts that was announced in April. The Independent reported that construction is still planned to begin in 2024 with a completion date set for 2027 or 2028.

The Tropicana is located on the southern end of the Strip, flanked by properties like MGM Grand, Excalibur, New York-New York, and the smaller OYO Casino. Bally’s purchased the property in September for $148 million.

Las Vegas Becomes a Sports Mecca

Las Vegas has become quite a sports hub over the last few years. The city had previously been shunned by most leagues, but that changed in 2018 when the virtual federal ban on sports betting (excluding Nevada) was struck down by the Supreme Court.

The NHL granted the city a franchise in 2016 with the team debuting in the 2017-18 season. Oakland also now has the distinction of losing two franchises to Sin City as well. In 2019, the NFL’s Raiders relocated to Allegiant Stadium, just west of the Strip.

The addition of the Tropicana location for the A’s also brings another major stadium addition to the city. Allegiant is located behind Mandalay Bay and T-Mobile Arena, home of the Golden Knights, is also right near the Strip behind New York-New York. The relocation of the A’s will put the city’s sports venues within about just a couple miles or less of each other.

In recent years, Las Vegas visitors have regularly made attending a sporting event a major part of the trip. Sports fans can take in an NHL and NFL game either featuring their own hometown team or simply check out a game at one of the city’s premier sports venues while also wagering on the action during the trip. Popular sportsbooks like BetMGM Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook operate in Las Vegas, so existing customers can place wagers when they visit.

The A’s now join that growing pro sports scene. And with at least 81 home games per year, the club offers even more action for fans. MLB teams have been fairly stable in recent years, with movement of franchises a rarity for the league.

“The A’s are set to become just the second Major League Baseball team in recent times to move across state lines, joining the Montreal Expos” CBS Sports notes. “The Expos, of course, relocated to Washington, D.C. ahead of the 2005 season.”

However, in the history of the A’s this becomes the third move for the franchise after beginning in Philadelphia in 1901 and then moving on to Kansas City and later Oakland. The team will keep the A’s name when moving to Vegas and has a deal in place to play in its AAA affiliate team’s 10,000-seat stadium in Summerlin if needed for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.


Sean Chaffin is a longtime freelance writer, editor, and former high school journalism teacher.