Vegas mayor: A's should try to stay in Oakland

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Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman isn’t exactly extending a warm embrace to the Oakland Athletics, who plan to build a $1.5 billion stadium in her city.

In fact, Goodman said the team’s stadium plan “does not make sense” and that A’s ownership should go back to the drawing board and pitch a new plan in the Bay Area.

“I personally think [the A’s have] got to figure out a way to stay in Oakland to make their dream come true,” Goodman told the Front Office Sports Today podcast, which was released Tuesday.

Goodman took to social media later Tuesday to add context to her comments and said she was “excited about the prospect of Major League Baseball” in her city, though she didn’t back off her statement that Oakland and the A’s should try to make their relationship work in a “perfect world.”

She added: “Should that fail, Las Vegas has shown that it is a spectacular market for major league sports franchises.”

The A’s ballpark is planned for a nine-acre parcel on the Las Vegas Strip and Goodman said the congestion makes the site less attractive than a larger site in north Las Vegas, which she proposed. However, the mayor and the city do not have jurisdiction over the Strip, which falls under the oversight of Clark County.

“There are a lot of questions about whether that’s going to fit,” Goodman told the podcast about plans for the site, and A’s owner John Fisher has drawn the ire of Las Vegas locals for failing to share revised artists renderings to show just how it will be situated on the lot.

Fisher’s plan is to finish the park in time for the 2028 season and leave the cavernous and worn out Coliseum in Oakland, the fifth-oldest stadium in the major leagues, after the team’s lease runs out following the 2024 season. The team has yet to secure a facility for the interim three seasons.

Plans to put $380 million of public financing toward the Las Vegas project also are being challenged legally.

“[The A’s] really want to stay in Oakland. They want to be on the water,” Goodman told Front Office Sports. “They have that magnificent dream and yet they can’t get it done.

“I just think there’s an appetite [in Oakland]. I run into people from Oakland all the time. They want to keep the team and it’s just the government up there. It costs money. … I love the people from Oakland. I think they deserve to have their team.”

Jorge Leon, president of the Oakland 68’s, a fan group, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Goodman’s stance was a positive.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Leon said. “We’re kind of surprised because we’re used to politicians saying, ‘C’mon down to our town.’ So it’s a breath of fresh air. We’ve been advocating stopping relocation, and when public money stops, I think relocation stops.”

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