The Athletics move to Las Vegas is not official but there is no doubt at this point that it will eventually pay off. One complicated detail is where the club will play from 2025 to 2027, as their lease on the Oakland Coliseum expires after 2024 and their new stadium in Vegas is not expected to be ready until 2028. Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-JournalClub president Dave Kaval has stated that splitting Oracle Park with the Giants is one option, and it is a possibility John Shea from the San Francisco Chronicle explore it more widely.
At this point, it is not clear if such a plan is likely or even realistic, but it is worth noting that it is a path under consideration. Some other options include staying in the amphitheater or playing at the Las Vegas Ballpark in the Summerlin South area of Las Vegas, home of the Las Vegas Aviators, the Triple-A affiliate of the A’s.
“It’s really about the league and the (players’) association and their decision on what makes the most sense,” Kaval told Akers. “We’re kind of holding them off on that. We’re providing all the necessary information that they need. But in the end, we’ll take guidance from the league in the meantime.”
Despite this skew, there are reasons why the A’s might want to play their home games in San Francisco for a few years. As Shea points out, the A’s will continue to receive revenue from their regional sports network contract as long as they remain in the Bay Area. Their 25-year contract with NBC Sports California runs through 2033 and has an annual value of nearly $60 million. Moving the club out of the region, such as the Aviator’s home ground, means leaving that money on the table.
Whether the Giants would be open to such an arrangement is another matter. The Shea report notes that the club would be willing to play no more than 30-40 of their 81 home games at the facility, since playing more than that would interfere with bookings for concerts, meetings, receptions and other activities when the Giants are on the road. . There is also the complication of adding a third clubhouse, as Shea reports that baseball operations staff do not want to constantly replace all of the Giants’ equipment with athletics equipment at the home club. But these complications aside, this would be an opportunity for the Giants to make some extra revenue for a few years by charging Class A rent. Shea adds that the Giants likely won’t be keen on tickets for Athletics being cheaper than Giants games, thus undercutting themselves in the market. , which means that the prices should be similar.
But other options also have disadvantages. The stay at the Coliseum is complicated by the fact that the relationship between the A’s and Oakland has become distinctly frosty in the wake of recent events. Moving to Triple-A Stadium in Nevada also has complications, other than losing TV money. The stadium has a capacity of just 10,000, which limits gate revenue, and has no roof to help deal with the sweltering summer heat.
Shea brings up the possibility of playing in Summerlin to start the season before moving to San Francisco for the warmer months. This would allow them to check all the boxes for staying in the Bay Area and raising TV money, avoiding the Nevada heat peak and allowing the Giants to continue renting the venue for non-baseball events. However, this solution seems speculative and there is no indication that it is a feasible option at this time.
Earlier this week, owner John Fisher told the Akers that the club has officially applied to transfer to the MLB. They need 75% of the ownership groups to sign off on the move, a vote that has yet to be scheduled, but is largely seen as a rubber stamp at this point. The club’s temporary home is largely unknown in the process, with the intriguing possibility of a temporary move to San Francisco.