So you like to gamble? Then what would you wager on the odds of a Major League Las Vegas baseball team? Well, if you’re purely playing the odds, things are looking better and better for Sin City all the time.
Nevada has already managed to lure one team away from Oakland: The NFL’s Raiders, who made the move a few years ago. That followed the success of a Las Vegas expansion team for the National Hockey League. And it’s important to note that the Raider’s move occurred in a similar situation to what the Oakland Athletics are facing now.
Several weeks ago we updated readers on the likelihood of a professional Las Vegas baseball. In that article we covered how a Las Vegas MLB team could attract sports fans from all over America, along with the cash flow and sponsorship deals it would bring.
Since that time, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been putting the squeeze on the city of Oakland to commit one way or another on the matter. He recently went so far as to state that the city needs to decide if they really want the Athletics to stay or not. And the primary way Oakland would demonstrate a commitment to their baseball team is to build them a new stadium. So far, that sort of deal has not materialized.
Manfred has been clear that time is running out for the city of Oakland. He recently visited the Coliseum where the Athletics play, stating that it is “…not a major-league-quality facility at this point.” He went on to comment that if the city does not move quickly, then relocating the team would be the best option.
He isn’t simply blowing smoke, either. MLB charges a relocation fee when a team decides to move to a different city. That fee can be hundreds of millions of dollars, but in this case the Commissioner said the league would forego any fees, showing his support for a Las Vegas baseball team. That support alone makes a move more likely.
Both the NFL and NHL teams in Las Vegas have enjoyed sold-out crowds, something rarely seen in Oakland. That alone would be enough incentive to move a franchise to another city. So while there is no timing on a move just yet, we’re thinking that Las Vegas baseball is a great bet at this point.