The Oakland Athletics' stadium saga is far from over.
Just three weeks after they signed a binding agreement to purchase a 49-acre plot of land for a new ballpark near the Las Vegas Strip, the A's are reportedly enacting their backup plan. According to the Nevada Independent, the team has been making calls to owners of other southern Nevada stadium sites that had been on their list at some point but were not their first choice.
The Independent reported that the A's have reached back out to the owners of the Rio Hotel & Casino, a site that would have "greatly reduced" the overall price of the project. The owners reportedly offered to sell 22 of their 90-acre site to the A's for just $1, but the site was rejected due to concerns about traffic access.
The A's are also reportedly considering the Tropicana Las Vegas, a 34-acre site that is currently home to one of the original Rat Pack-era hotels.
Why do the A's need a backup plan?
It's all about money the A's don't want to pay. Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager told the Independent last week that the Nevada Legislature is running out of time to pass a tax bill that would give the A's $500 million in tax credits to build a $1.5 billion, 35,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof. The legislative session ends June 5.
What's the hold-up? According to Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, the A's are actually the obstacle here.
“We haven't gotten anything concrete yet of exactly what it is that they're looking for or what they would like us to take a look at,” Cannizzaro said via the Independent. “So it's tough to have conversations about what exactly we may or may not do, and time here is finite.
“We only have a few more weeks left, so if there's going to be a deal, it's got to come very soon,” she added.
Sources told the Independent that language for the bill should be available by the end of the week, but "plans are fluid" at this point. If the deal isn't finished in time, it's possible the legislature could hold an emergency session, but no emergency requests have been submitted as of yet.