Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says a vote on the Oakland Athletics‘ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when MLB owners meet June 13-15 in New York.
“It’s possible that a relocation vote could happen as early as June,” Manfred said Thursday at Milwaukee during his tour of major league stadiums to speak with players. “It’s very difficult to have a timeline for Oakland until there’s actually a deal to be considered. There is a relocation process internally they need to go through, and we haven’t even started that process.”
Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo said Wednesday that legislative leaders and the Athletics had reached a tentative agreement on a $1.5 billion stadium funding plan that would lure the franchise to Las Vegas. A funding bill still must be approved by the legislature.
Manfred was asked whether he believes the door is completely closed on the possibility of the Athletics remaining in Oakland, where the team has played since 1968.
“I think you’d have to ask the mayor of Oakland that,” Manfred said. “She said she had cut off negotiations after an announcement was made in Las Vegas. I don’t have a crystal ball as to where anything’s going. There’s not a definitive deal done in Las Vegas. We’ll have to see how that plays out.”
The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao had issued a statement after the Athletics’ land purchase in Nevada saying she was disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with the city as a “true partner.”
The Athletics have been seeking a new ballpark to replace Oakland Coliseum, which has served as their home park since they arrived from Kansas City and where the team’s lease runs through 2024. The A’s looked at a location near Oakland’s Howard Terminal before shifting their focus out of state.
With their future unsettled, the Athletics are struggling at a historic level on the field and in the stands.
They began Thursday 10-41 after matching the 1932 Boston Red Sox and 1897 St. Louis Browns for the fourth-worst 50-game start in major league history. Their average home attendance of 8,695 is nearly 3,600 fewer fans per game than that of any other team.