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Sacramento will be the A’s home until the Las Vegas stadium is ready

The Major League Baseball team will share a minor league ballpark with a Triple-A team starting in 2025, but hopes to play a few games in Las Vegas.
Howard Stutz
Howard Stutz
A's stadiumEconomyGamingSports

The Oakland Athletics will spend the next three years playing baseball in a Triple-A ballpark in Sacramento before a planned move in 2028 to a $1.5 billion, 33,000-seat stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The major league team announced Thursday that it agreed with the ownership of the Pacific Coast League’s Sacramento River Cats to share Sutter Health Park starting in 2025. The River Cats are the top minor league affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

The deal includes an option for 2028 should construction on the team’s Las Vegas stadium take longer than three years. Work on the 35-acre site that housed the Tropicana Las Vegas is expected to begin in April 2025. The 67-year-old Rat Pack-era resort closed Tuesday and will be demolished.

The A’s said Major League Baseball signed off on the move, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported a spokesman for the Major League Players Association said the union “had preliminary discussions with MLB about a range of issues related to the temporary relocation and we expect those discussions to continue.”

A’s President Dave Kaval said there’s a possibility that the team could play several regular season home games during the next few years at Las Vegas Ballpark in Summerlin, home to the Las Vegas Aviators, the A’s Triple-A affiliate.

“That's something that we are considering and working on with the league,” Kaval said. “We have built [that] into our arrangement in Sacramento. This is going to be our primary home and we're going to play the vast majority of our games here.”

He compared the idea of playing some regular season games in Las Vegas in the same way the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres opened the 2024 season in South Korea as a way to expand the interest in major league baseball.

“Having a presence in Vegas ahead of the full unveiling of the stadium will be important to the A’s and the community,” Kaval said, adding the A’s would continue playing spring training games at Las Vegas Ballpark, which has almost 8,200 seats but is listed as having a capacity of 10,000 with standing-room areas.

He said the team will not have a city designation in its name for the next three years and will go by The Athletics and The A’s.

The A’s, who are 1-6 on the season, have averaged a little more than 6,400 fans at the 45,000-seat Oakland Coliseum for the first seven home games of the year. The team announced a paid attendance of 13,522 on opening day, but more than half stayed in the parking lot attending a block party to protest the move to Las Vegas.

The A’s had been in talks with the city of Oakland and Alameda County about extending the expiring lease on the aging Oakland Coliseum for another five years with an opt-out clause after three years.

“We worked really hard hours and had all these meetings,” Kaval said of recent talks with the city. “In the end, we were really far apart.” 

A fan watches the Sacramento River Cats play the Reno Aces at Sutter Health Park in Sacramento, California on Sept. 1, 2014. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

The A’s decided to play in Sacramento’s ballpark, which opened in 2000 and has 10,624 seats. The stadium is listed with a capacity of 14,000, which includes lawn and standing-only areas. Kaval said many improvements will be made before 2025 but the River Cats had already upgraded part of the ballpark including the visitors’ clubhouse in center field. A second clubhouse will be built for the A’s.

In a statement, A’s owner John Fisher said he had been hopeful about reaching a deal to stay in Oakland until the Las Vegas stadium was built.

“The conditions to achieve an agreement seemed out of reach,” Fisher said. “We understand the disappointment this news brings to our fans, as this season marks our final one in Oakland.”

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said in a statement the city offered a deal that was “fair to the A's and was fiscally responsible.” She said Oakland would continue talks with the A’s on selling the team’s ownership in the coliseum site while considering redevelopment efforts.

In a statement, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed “appreciation” to Sacramento for hosting the A’s. The River Cats are owned by Vivek Ranadivé, who also owns the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

In preparation for their move, the A’s released renderings in March for its planned ballpark with a non-retractable roof and a large window that spans much of the outfield, providing fans views of the Strip. The designer said the roof’s “five pennant arches” will enclose the ballpark, shading the stadium from direct sunlight.

Last month, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority approved a community benefits agreement with the A’s for the ballpark. The agreement was established as part of the legislation approved last year that included $380 million in public financing for the stadium. The team has still not said how it will privately fund the $1.2 billion required under the state’s financing agreement.


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