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Rob Manfred says Athletics’ relocation plans to Las Vegas still ‘solid’ despite multiple obstacles

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USATSI

With Opening Day only four weeks away, the Oakland Athletics appear no closer to relocating to Las Vegas than they were in the offseason. Owner John Fisher has yet to secure his part of the stadium financing, and several deadlines to release ballpark renderings have been missed. Odds are the A’s will ultimately move to Las Vegas, but this process has hardly been smooth.

On Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred called the relocation plan “solid” — not the most ringing endorsement, that is — and said he still expects the move to happen. He did acknowledge things have not been particularly easy thus far though. Here’s what Manfred told the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I think Las Vegas is solid, I really do,” Manfred said. “It was a little rough with the mayor, Clark County versus the city. But, you know, from my perspective, (Las Vegas major Carolyn Goodman) was the first person who ever talked to me about baseball in Las Vegas.

“I understand all politics are local, and the county is different than the city, but I think the governor and the politicians in general in Las Vegas remain committed to the deal. I think the deal is going to happen.”

In addition to the financing and new stadium renderings, the Athletics also have to figure out where they’ll play from 2025-27. Their lease at RingCentral Coliseum expires after this season and the new ballpark in Las Vegas is tentatively scheduled to open in 2028. The A’s are evaluating Triple-A facilities in Sacramento and Salt Lake City, among other locations, as potential 2025-27 homes.

This is a fairly urgent matter — Manfred admitted as much to the Chronicle — because MLB has to generate the 2025 schedule. Teams typically receive a preliminary schedule to review in the spring, and then the final schedule is released in July. But until the A’s know where they’re going to play in 2025, no schedule can be built. They have to figure out where they’re playing soon.

The Athletics had baseball’s worst record at 50-112 last season. The franchise played in Philadelphia from 1901-54 and Kansas City from 1955-67 before relocating to Oakland.

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