Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024 | 5:07 p.m.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman — known for going viral a time or two — was a popular topic on the web today following an interview saying she hoped the Oakland Athletics could organize a deal to remain in the Bay Area instead of moving to Southern Nevada.
In a podcast posted Feb. 6 on Front Office Sports, Goodman — while discussing Las Vegas’ rise as a new sports capital — said she believes the A’s should stay in Oakland if owner John Fisher, President David Kaval and Oakland’s city government can work out a stadium deal. She explained that many Bay Area fans want the team to stay in California and that “they deserve to have their team.”
“To come here and take down an old hotel and put it right at the heart of the Strip and more congestion — we have enough congestion right now with what we just experienced with Formula One … and I just think there’s an appetite — I run into people from Oakland all the time, they wanna keep the team,” Goodman said in her Front Office Sports interview.
Goodman added she doesn’t think the funds for the local stadium are there, and that Fisher’s plans to move the team “don’t make sense” because the proposed site is in an area with heavy traffic. The A’s apparently had also turned down an offer to build a ballpark at the Cashman Complex in downtown Las Vegas.
The interview with Goodman went viral on Tuesday, with many A’s fans rallying behind her and reiterating their yearning for the team to remain in Oakland. It was another opportunity for the especially passionate to reignite calls for Fisher to sell the team.
Goodman later clarified her comments in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter. In her statement posted before noon today, Goodman said she is “excited about the prospect of Major League Baseball in Las Vegas” and that the “Las Vegas A’s” could become a reality “that we will welcome to our city.”
The Oakland A’s was discussed for about seven minutes when Goodman made mention of the Oakland fans that travel from California’s Bay Area to cheer on their former football team, the Raiders.
“My points included that it is my belief that in their perfect world the ownership of the A’s would like to have a new ballpark on the water in Oakland and that the ownership and government there should listen to their great fans and try to make that dream come true,” Goodman said on X. “Should that fail, Las Vegas has shown that it is a spectacular market for major league sports franchises.”
Goodman’s comments attracted more mixed responses on X, with some A’s fans thanking her for “standing by her original statement” and others saying her opinion doesn’t matter as she reaches her term limit for mayor this year.
Major League Baseball in November unanimously approved the Athletics’ relocation bid from Oakland to Las Vegas, all but ending a yearslong struggle over keeping the team in the San Francisco Bay Area. The team announced about a year ago it would forego talks to build waterfront ballpark district at Oakland’s Howard Terminal in favor of a proposed 30,000-seat stadium at Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue — site of the Tropicana Hotel.
This area falls within unincorporated Clark County, which is governed by the Clark County Commission and not the city of Las Vegas.
Senate Bill 1, which passed during last year’s legislative session, requires the establishment of a sports and entertainment improvement district to finance an MLB stadium project.
The bill is structured so that the state would pay up to $180 million in transferable tax credits, of which $120 million could be made refundable. That’s paired with roughly $125 million in general obligation bonds issued by Clark County. The county would also invest a separate $25 million for infrastructure surrounding the stadium.
The A’s have played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum since the club’s arrival there by way of Kansas City ahead of the 1968 season. The team had spent years trying to build a new stadium in several cities around Northern California but turned its focus solely to Las Vegas in April after potential funding shortfalls stalled talks for a waterfront development off the San Francisco Bay.
Officials say the 25-acre Tropicana site will close permanently April 2, though details on when demolition may begin are still unknown.
During the interview, Goodman mentioned that she and former Mayor Oscar Goodman, her husband, have tried for almost two decades to bring professional sports here.
During his mayoral run starting in 1999, Oscar Goodman had approached various team owners in different professional sports leagues proposing they establish roots in the growing Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman explained. It was a story she even echoed at her State of the City address back in January.
They’ve been attempting to find a team to make Cashman Complex their home.
Las Vegas Sun reporter Casey Harrison contributed to this story.