Posts Tagged ‘MlB Relocation’

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics need to reach new ballpark deals soon and left open the possibility of considering relocation if agreements are not struck.

“There is urgency with respect to Tampa,” Manfred said Thursday during a news conference following an owners meeting. “There needs to be a resolution in the Tampa Bay region for the Rays.”

Tampa Bay’s lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the team has played since its inaugural season in 1998, expires after the 2027 season. The Rays said in January that MLB had rejected the team’s plan to split its season between Florida and Montreal.

“Obviously, the end of that lease is a hard deadline, but you need to take into account that stadiums take a little bit of time to build, right?” Manfred said. “So we are getting to the point where wherever it is in the region that has an interest in having 162 baseball games, they need to get to it, get with the club — I know the Rays are anxious to get something done — and see if a deal can be made.”

Asked whether he was considering relocation, Manfred responded: “Right now, I’m focused on Tampa,” putting emphasis on “right now” and later adding he was referring to the region, not the specific side of the bay. “I think a great man once said, all good things must end at some point. And but right now we’re focused on Tampa.”

The Athletics have played at the Coliseum since 1968 and their lease expires after the 2024 season. The A’s have proposed a new ballpark at Howard Terminal and are working with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to gain the necessary approvals.

“There is really significant activity in Oakland. The political process has moved along significantly,” Manfred said. “I met with Mayor Schaaf last week. She has done a really good job at moving the process forward in Oakland. But as you all know, California political processes are their own sort of animal. There’s work to do on the Oakland side. I think the A’s prudently have continued to pursue the Las Vegas alternative. We like Las Vegas as a market. Again, it’s in the same category as Tampa. We need a solution in both those markets and the time has come for that solution.”

Oakland has averaged a major league-low of 8,283 fans this season and the Rays are 25th at 13,740, also ahead of Miami, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Orioles CEO John Angelos said Monday the team will remain in Baltimore — and that he and his parents have never contemplated otherwise.

Angelos’ comments — released by the team — came days after he was sued by his brother Lou Angelos. Lou claimed in last week’s lawsuit that John has seized control of the Orioles at his expense, and in defiance of their father Peter’s wishes.

“John intends to maintain absolute control over the Orioles — to manage, to sell or, if he chooses, to move to Tennessee (where he has a home and where his wife’s career is headquartered) — without having to answer to anyone,” the lawsuit said.

The suit did not elaborate on how likely it was that the team might actually move, and John Angelos sought to reassure fans in his statement Monday.

“As I have said before, as long as Fort McHenry is standing watch over the Inner Harbor, the Orioles will remain in Baltimore,” he said. “My mother was born and raised in northeast Baltimore, attended city public schools at Eastern High School and has worked with my father their entire lives to help the city, including by restoring the club to local ownership and preventing its relocation. For them, as for me, the Orioles will forever play at Oriole Park, and at no time ever have we contemplated anything different.”

Peter Angelos became the Orioles’ owner in 1993, but his public role has diminished in recent years and he turns 93 next month.

Cincinnati Reds president and chief operating officer Phil Castellini defended shedding payroll during the offseason by suggesting to fans that relocating the team would be more financially beneficial.

“Well, where are you going to go? Let’s start there. Sell the team to who? You want to have this debate?” Castellini said Tuesday on 700WLW when asked why fans should trust the club’s ownership. “If you want to look at what would you do with this team to have it be more profitable, make more money, compete more in the current economic system that this game exists, it would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else.

“So, be careful what you ask for. I think we’re doing the best we can do with the resources that we have. We’re no more pleased with the results than the fans. I’m not … polishing any trophies in the office right now, and that’s what we’re here to do.”

When asked to clarify his comments before the Reds’ first home game of the season later Tuesday, Castellini didn’t back down.

“You can hate on us all you want. We’re not going anywhere,” he told Brandon Saho of WLWT. “We haven’t abandoned our commitment to winning and investing in this franchise and in this community. So, the point is: Stay tuned and be a fan.”

Following the Reds’ loss to the Cleveland Guardians, Castellini apologized for his comments in a statement.

“I apologize to Reds fans and regret the comments that I made earlier today. We love this city, we love this team and we love our fans. I understand how our fans feel and I’m sorry,” Castellini said, according to The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans.

Cincinnati’s payroll for the 40-man roster sits at just under $131 million, which ranks 21st in the majors, according to Cot’s BaseballThe team dished out over $144 million in 2021 and above $165 million in 2020.

The Reds traded away Jesse WinkerEugenio SuarezSonny GrayAmir Garrett, and Tucker Barnhart over the winter, allowed Nick Castellanos to walk in free agency, and lost Wade Miley on waivers.

Oakland Athletics president Dave Kaval believes Las Vegas will eventually host a Major League Baseball team, and if things go his way, the A’s could call Sin City home.

“We’re negotiating with different parties. We’ve had a lot of detailed meetings on some of these term sheets … pretty shortly, we’re going to be announcing a site in Las Vegas because we have to have a real option down in Las Vegas,” Kaval said on Friday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Mick Akers.

“I think eventually there will be a Major League Baseball team there, and I think there’s a real chance that it could be the A’s.”

Kaval said the club would announce its preferred Las Vegas site in 4-6 weeks, adding that the organization is very excited about the location.

The news comes after the A’s and the city of Oakland were hit with a lawsuit on Friday relating to the Howard Terminal project in the Bay Area.

The lawsuit, which alleges the stadium’s development would pose environmental risks to the area, could add nine months of unpredictability to the project, increasing the franchise’s chances of looking elsewhere for a new home.

“It just brings more uncertainty and further reinforces why we’re spending so much time and effort, and we have such a sincere interest in Las Vegas as an option for the club,” Kaval said.

In May 2021, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recommended the team consider relocation following its numerous failed attempts to find a new home in the Oakland area.

The A’s have played at Oakland Coliseum since 1968 and have been trying to build a new ballpark in the city for decades.

The battle for custody of the Oakland Athletics has turned up a notch.

The A’s tabled an offer for a plot of land in the Las Vegas area where they could potentially build a $1-billion ballpark, team president Dave Kaval told Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday.

The exact location wasn’t revealed.

“We’re kind of moving from a phase of research/data gathering to action around a final site,” Kaval told Akers. “That’s really important because the site selection is a really critical path to keep the process moving forward to where we could have a holistically blessed project.”

Athletics brass has made seven recent trips to Las Vegas as they continue to eye a potential relocation amid contentious stadium negotiations in Oakland. Earlier in November, sources told Akers that Kaval, owner John Fisher, and executive vice president Billy Beane toured a possible stadium site near Summerlin, Nevada. A survey found that the preferred choice was near the famous Vegas Strip.

The team was going to reveal its list of Las Vegas finalists after the World Series, but that’s no longer happening, according to Akers.

Meanwhile, the A’s current home is stepping up efforts to keep the team. Mayor Libby Schaaf announced Friday that Oakland is receiving $14.5 million in federal grants, which she believes will help push the downtown A’s ballpark project forward.

“Today’s announcement absolutely supports a new waterfront ballpark for our beloved Oakland A’s,” Schaaf said, according to Sarah Ravani of the San Francisco Chronicle. “This additional $14.5 million is really taking us close to the finish line of delivering on all of the improvements that will be necessary to make an A’s waterfront ballpark a smashing success.”

Kaval called the Oakland grants a “really positive development,” per Ravani. “It puts us closer to getting this project in front of the council for a binding vote.”

The A’s have played at the aging Oakland Coliseum since 1968 and have been trying to build a new ballpark in the city for decades. If they stay in Oakland, it will be at a proposed waterfront facility near Howard Terminal.

Commissioner Rob Manfred instructed the A’s to begin exploring relocation options in May. It would be the third time the franchise has moved, having previously played in Philadelphia and Kansas City.

The Oakland Athletics are expected to announce the finalists for a stadium in Las Vegas after the World Series, according to Arash Markazi of The Mightier 1090.

Athletics president Dave Kaval has reportedly made at least six trips to Las Vegas to examine potential locations for the team’s new home.

A new ballpark could cost $1 billion, Markazi adds.

MLB instructed the club in May to look for potential relocation options, calling the Oakland Coliseum – the team’s current home – a non-viable option for the future.

A plan to build a new stadium in the Howard Terminal area of Oakland is still in the works, but nothing has been finalized.

“We’re not sure we see a path to success in terms of getting something built in Oakland,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday during Sports Business Journal’s World Congress of Sports.

Nashville and Portland are two other cities that have spoken to the league about an MLB team.

The Athletics have played in Oakland since 1968, winning four World Series titles.

Rays president Brian Auld isn’t optimistic about the team’s long-term future in Tampa Bay.

“We’ve concluded that it’s next to impossible that full-season baseball can succeed in Tampa Bay today,” Auld said last week, according to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal.

The Rays are exploring a split-season proposal to play in Tampa Bay and Montreal, starting in 2028 when their lease expires at Tropicana Field. The club would like to have two new open-air stadiums in both cities.

“We’re not missing by a few thousand people a night. We’re less than half from where we need to be with an absolutely incredible team,” Auld said. “The sister city plan deserves a chance to be heard by open minds.”

The Rays drew just over 27,000 fans at Tropicana Field for Game 1 of their ALDS matchup against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. The stadium’s full capacity is over 42,000. The team averaged slightly more than 9,000 spectators per regular-season home game in 2021, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

The club planned to promote the split-season strategy with a sign at Tropicana Field during the playoffs. However, owner Stuart Sternberg changed his mind and apologized to fans.

With a decade left on their lease at Kauffman Stadium, the Kansas City Royals are evaluating their options and owner John Sherman said Tuesday one of those could be a new downtown ballpark.

The Royals are tied to the 53-year-old stadium, named after founder Ewing Kauffman, until 2031 under terms of a public-private partnership 15 years ago that helped to fund $250 million in renovations to the quaint but aging ballpark on the outskirts of town.

But the club must make a decision in the next couple of years to press on with more renovations at Truman Sports Complex, which is also home to Arrowhead Stadium and the Kansas City Chiefs, or look elsewhere. The design and construction for a new stadium typically takes up to five years, and securing the necessary funding can sometimes take just as long.

“I get asked this question all the time about where we’re going to play in the future,” said Sherman, who bought the club from David Glass for $1 billion in November 2019. “Since the day we acquired the franchise, trust me, we’ve had a revolving door of people bringing us lots of ideas, some that have been on the shelf for a long time.

“We’ve spent our time listening but we’ve also thought of the future of where we play,” Sherman added. “We’re in a good spot here in Truman Sports Complex but we need to start thinking about our plans for a stadium.”

There was a major push in the early 2000s for a new downtown ballpark, near where city officials managed to build T-Mobile Arena, the home of the Big 12 Conference basketball tournament and other events. That has since served as the cornerstone for the Power & Light District, a robust area of bars and restaurants, and has helped to revitalize downtown Kansas City.

But those plans ultimately were shelved in favor of remaining at Kauffman Stadium, whose Space Age-design, glittering outfield fountains and dazzling lights have made it popular among fans and players alike.

In April 2006, voters in Jackson County approved a sales tax increase to fund renovations to Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums while tying the Royals and Chiefs to the city for the foreseeable future. And while the renovations did much to modernize the facilities, it couldn’t help the fact that both are located well outside of downtown Kansas City.

Their location makes it difficult to reach the stadiums, particularly for baseball games that occur during the work week, and traffic is often a nightmare when there is a large crowd. There also is no room to build out surrounding areas with the kinds of bars, hotels and restaurants.

“Wherever we play,” Sherman said, “the criteria will be that the process will result in meaningful community impact that is real and measurable. It will result in economic growth and economic activity that benefits this region in real and measurable ways, and I think about quality of life. … The other criteria we need to have is a positive impact on quality of life.”

Sherman has a vested interest in Kansas City. He graduated from Ottawa University in nearby Ottawa, Kansas, before he established a series of energy companies across the Midwest. All along, he called Kansas City his home.

“It’s frankly hard not to go public about this. I get asked this literally everywhere I go,” he said. “We’re having some thoughts about it and we want to be more transparent about it, and we want to start to get more feedback from groups in the community. How do they feel about the concept and the criteria I gave? The community impact, the economic growth and the quality of life for people in this region? If we can make that work, and the math works, a new ballpark is a possibility.”

The Oakland City Council on Tuesday approved preliminary terms for a new $12 billion waterfront ballpark project for the Oakland Athletics, but it’s unclear if the vote will be enough to keep the baseball team at the negotiating table instead of leaving the San Francisco Bay Area city.

The 6-1 vote backed the proposal that requires the development to include affordable housing, tenant protections and environmental measures, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Mayor Libby Schaaf and council leaders said the vote marks a milestone in negotiations, despite city officials being able to reach a deal with the team in last-minute negotiations.

“This is the path to keeping the A’s rooted in Oakland in a way that protects our port and taxpayers and will produce the benefits our community demands and deserves,” the city leaders said in a statement.

But A’s President Dave Kaval said the financial terms do not work for the team.

“To vote on something we have not been privy to and not had time to digest is a difficult thing for us. It’s hard to understand how that is a path forward,” Kaval said at the meeting.

The A’s are the last professional franchise remaining in Oakland after the NBA’s Golden State Warriors relocated to San Francisco and the NFL’s Raiders to Las Vegas. The defections weigh heavily on the Bay Area city of roughly 400,000 people, some of whom pleaded with the council Tuesday to work harder to keep the team and accompanying coliseum jobs.

Others, like Emily Wheeler, said good riddance: “The A’s are like an abusive boyfriend and you need to stand up to them.”

The A’s project includes a $1 billion privately financed 35,000-seat waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal, 3,000 residential units, office and retail space, hotel rooms and an indoor performance center.

The team’s lease at the aging RingCentral Coliseum runs through 2024. The league has said rebuilding at the current location is not a viable option. In May, Major League Baseball instructed Oakland’s brass to explore relocation options if no ballpark agreement could be reached.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says the fate of the Athletics in Oakland will be determined in the next few months.

A’s owners have proposed a new ballpark in the Howard Terminal area of Oakland, and Manfred said if the stadium project is not approved, the team would move forward with either a move to Las Vegas or a wider relocation search.

“The Oakland process is at an end,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America before Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

The Oakland City Council is to consider a non-binding terms sheet on July 20.

“This is the decision point for Oakland as whether they want to have Major League Baseball going forward,” he said.