Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo does not plan to increase state taxes to help pay for a stadium if MLB’s Oakland A’s move to Las Vegas. He revealed his reluctance to raise taxes in a statement on Thursday despite discussing the matter in November with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
may or may not be eligible for a variety of existing economic development programs in the state”
Neither the governor’s office nor MLB representatives revealed any details of the phone conversation that took place shortly after Lombardo won the gubernatorial election. Lombardo did note in his statement on Thursday that any sports teams or companies thinking of moving to Nevada “may or may not be eligible for a variety of existing economic development programs in the state.”
Decisions to be made
The Oakland A’s have been considering moving out of their current base for a number of years. The team’s existing home venue, the Oakland Coliseum, is 57 years old and needs significant upgrades. Plans to build a new 35,000-seat ballpark on the waterfront in Oakland have been in the works, but the team’s preference appears or be a move to Las Vegas if it can get a site that comes with acceptable financing terms.
Progress on the waterfront ballpark proposal has been slow, with the city missing a key funding deadline in the fall. The team’s lease on its current stadium will expire next year and MLB commissioner Manfred recently said that the team has passed “any reasonable timeline” to decide on its future. The team will not have to pay any sort of relocation fee to the league if it decides to move.
Vegas’ involvement in the possible move
Previous Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak had met with representatives of the team in the past, but he was also against helping build a stadium with a public financing package. When the NFL’s Oakland Raiders moved to Las Vegas, Sisolak supported a tax package worth $750m to help with the $1.9bn cost of building Allegiant Stadium.
biggest tax package of its kind for a stadium in the country
The tax package, which included an increase in hotel room taxes on the Las Vegas Strip, was a big reason why the Raiders ultimately made the move. It was the biggest tax package of its kind for a stadium in the country.
The Oakland A’s had been looking at two sites in particular in Las Vegas. One is part of the site that contains the Tropicana Hotel Casino, while the other is the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. It appears that the likelier of the two locations would be the former, as talks with the owner of the Festival Grounds have seemingly stalled.