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Nevada lawmakers await details of A’s land buy in Las Vegas

Apr 20, 2023, 3:55 PM

FILE - People watch a baseball game at Oakland Coliseum between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas...

FILE - People watch a baseball game at Oakland Coliseum between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers in Oakland, Calif., July 23, 2022. The Athletics have signed a binding agreement to purchase land for a new retractable roof stadium in Las Vegas after being unable to build a new venue in the Bay Area. Team president Dave Kaval said Wednesday, April 19, 2023, that the team finalized the deal to buy the 49-acre site last week close to the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada legislative leaders said Thursday that they had little information about the Oakland Athletics’ plans to move to Las Vegas, beyond that a land purchase deal in place, a funding bill is coming and there is no timeline for action.

The Major League Baseball team announced late Wednesday it signed a binding agreement to purchase vacant property just off the Las Vegas Strip owned by Red Rock Resorts for a new retractable roof ballpark, ending discussion about the team staying in the Bay Area.

The purchase now sets up a patchwork of public-private funding mechanisms that needs approval from state lawmakers as well as local officials.

The stadium and other developments are projected to cost about $1.5 billion, one-third of which will come from public funding, The Nevada Independent reported.

The state Senate majority leader, Democrat Nicole Cannizzaro was “briefed on the outline of a proposal, and she appreciates the interest the A’s have shown in Las Vegas,” aide Greg Lademann said.

“However, (Cannizzaro) has not committed to supporting any deal, nor would she without seeing detailed legislative language and discussing it with her caucus,” Lademann said.

The Legislature is entering the last six weeks of a session that is held every two years. A funding bill of this nature would be expect from a deadline that has passed for bills to be introduced and passed out of their first committees.

The Nevada Independent and the Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported the agreement Wednesday night.

Nevada Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo remains committed to a campaign promise not to raise taxes, spokesperson Elizabeth Ray said in a statement.

“The prospect of bringing new jobs, more economic development, and an exceptional MLB team to Las Vegas is exciting on many levels,” Lombardo said in a statement. “As we continue to navigate this opportunity, I’m in regular communication with the A’s, Major League Baseball, legislative leadership, and local and state stakeholders.”

Others were generally supportive while speaking in broad terms.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager noted the city’s recent success in hosting sports teams.

“It’s important we consider both the benefits and impacts to Las Vegas and the state,” Yeager added.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Heidi Seevers Gansert made a similar remark in statement that also said looks forward to reviewing the proposal.

Republican Assemblywoman Danielle Gallant said her caucus will “continue to support our governor as he navigates potential ways to diversify our economy and bolster the existing industries that make Nevada unique.”

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Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. Follow him on Twitter: @gabestern326.

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Nevada lawmakers await details of A’s land buy in Las Vegas