Ball Four: Nevada clinches financing deal for A's stadium, despite show of support by Oakland fans
In a 13-to-8 vote, the bill allows up to $380 million in public funding for a stadium on the Las Vegas Strip. If approved by the Legislature and signed by Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, the measure would be the largest hurdle cleared for the A’s to leave the multipurpose stadium in Oakland, which they have called home since 1968.
The Coliseum, which has averaged a major-league-low attendance, was packed on Tuesday with a season-best crowd of more than 27,000, with many fans wearing green T-shirts that said “Sell” across the chest as part of the protest.
The fans, who believe they have been unfairly blamed for the team’s attendance issues, came back for one night to prove that they are still there and would return to games. Jorge Leon, a long-time baseball fan and protest member of the A’s Independent support group, the Oakland68’s, said, “This means so much to the community, not just in dollars, but in the hearts of Oaklanders.”
Should Nevada approve public funds for a new stadium, the hopes of building a new park in Oakland, at Howard Terminal or elsewhere, would vanish, even as the city of Oakland has worked to keep the door open.
The bill passed the Nevada Senate, and the team hopes to build a $1.5 billion stadium on the site of the Tropicana Las Vegas casino and hotel site.