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Analyst: GLPI hints at additional investment in Vegas baseball stadium

During a meeting at G2E, executives from the REIT that owns the ballpark’s site maintained a positive opinion toward the $1.5B future home of the relocated A's.
Howard Stutz
Howard Stutz
A's stadiumEconomyGamingSports
Tropicana hotel-casino seen on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) might be willing to invest beyond the company’s $175 million commitment to develop a baseball stadium on the site of Tropicana Las Vegas, according to one gaming analyst.

JMP Securities analyst Mitch Germain met with the top executives of the real estate investment trust (REIT) during the recent Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. He wrote in a research note published Oct. 16 that the company still had a positive view toward plans for a $1.5 billion, 33,000-seat ballpark that would serve as the home for the relocated Oakland A’s.

Germain said GLPI’s management “was enthusiastic about prospects for participation at the project in larger scale, above the original $175 million commitment.”

Bally’s Corp., which leases the 35-acre site at Tropicana Boulevard and the Strip from GLPI, said it will demolish the Rat Pack-era resort and build a new hotel-casino on the site after the stadium opens.

Analysts are expected to ask GLPI executives about the stadium project and the Tropicana’s future on Friday when the company reports its third-quarter earnings.

The comments from GLPI come as the A’s will appear before the Las Vegas Stadium Authority for the first time on Wednesday afternoon. According to the agenda posted on the stadium authority’s website, the board and the A’s will discuss the lease of the planned ballpark and the community benefits agreement.

Mortenson-McCarthy, the construction manager for the project, will offer a presentation on stadium construction community engagement.

In May, GLPI said the financing would go toward the demolition of the Tropicana and “future development.” Bally’s pays $10.5 million in annual rent to GLPI under a 50-year deal.

“Site approvals are still in process which should delay demolition of the existing casino,” Germain wrote.

Bally’s, which opened a temporary casino this summer in Chicago, ahead of the company building a $1.7 billion permanent casino resort, reports third-quarter results Nov. 1. Additional questions about the Tropicana’s future are expected to be asked by analysts at that time.

From left, lobbyists Alfredo Alonso and John Griffin, Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher, President Dave Kaval and lobbyist Jessica Ferrato inside the Legislature in Carson City on May 31, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

During a special legislative session in June, Nevada lawmakers approved SB1, a measure that committed up to $380 million in public financing for the stadium through a combination of tax credits and Clark County-issued bonds. Gov. Joe Lombardo signed the bill.

What is not known is how the A’s plan to privately finance the remaining $1.1 billion needed for the stadium. In August, A’s President Dave Kaval said the team was working to secure that financing, which would include a commitment by the family of A’s owner John Fisher to “make one of the largest equity contributions” ever by a major league owner toward the cost of building a new ballpark. 

The A’s are also awaiting approval from Major League Baseball for the relocation. In an interview last month with The Associated Press, Commissioner Rob Manfred said he hopes owners will vote on the Athletics’ proposed Las Vegas move when they meet Nov. 14-16 in Arlington, Texas. The vote requires 75 percent approval from the owners for the relocation following a recommendation by a committee of three owners.

Regardless of when the vote takes place, the proposed stadium in Las Vegas is not expected to be ready until the start of the 2028 season.

“Management alluded to several moving pieces about not only the stadium, but the potential for Bally’s to re-develop the Tropicana site,” Germain wrote.

The A’s are in the process of selecting the architectural team to design the stadium, but a spokesperson said the ballclub was asked by Major League Baseball to hold off on any announcements until after the World Series concludes.


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