LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that the A’s need to figure out where they’re playing in 2025 no later than this summer, so that MLB can finalize a schedule for that season.
While owner John Fisher plans to move the team to Las Vegas for the 2028 season, the A’s home for 2025-27 remains unknown. Their last year in Oakland is expected to be 2024.
“We need to in the next few months know,” Manfred said after MLB’s owners meetings. “It’s hard, even scheduling — although it’s clearly going to be someplace in the West — you know, there’s a difference between some places in the West and other places in the West.”
Manfred declined to say how many or which locations remain in contention. Salt Lake City, Utah, and Sacramento, Calif., are leading candidates, people briefed on the process said.
“I’m comfortable with where they are in the process,” Manfred said. “They have options. I think they’re doing a good job of exploring them and making sure we find the best possible option.”
Where the A’s play will have an impact on the TV revenue they’re slated for, estimated to be around $70 million annually if they remained in Oakland. If they move away, that money could disappear, or be reduced.
“They’re looking at all their revenue streams and trying to figure out where they can maximize the revenue streams,” Manfred said. “There are differences between some of the options in terms of what the TV opportunity is. I don’t want to go beyond that.”
Fisher declined an interview request from reporters Thursday.
The mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman, this week said on the podcast “Front Office Sports Today” that the A’s move to the city “doesn’t make sense.” When those comments led to something of a firestorm among fans and media, Goodman put out a statement that both seemed to walk back some of the sentiment, and reinforce some of it.
“I want to be clear that I am excited about the prospect of Major League Baseball in Las Vegas, and it very well may be that the Las Vegas A’s will become a reality that we will welcome to our city,” Goodman said in the statement, adding later, “it is my belief that in their perfect world the ownership of the A’s would like to have a new ballpark on the water in Oakland and that the ownership and government there should listen to their great fans and try to make that dream come true.”
Goodman is not technically the mayor of the area the A’s are moving to, on the Las Vegas Strip.
“All I can say: the governor, the Clark County officials, have all been wildly supportive of the A’s moving to Las Vegas,” Manfred said. “I didn’t really have a reaction. I mean, frankly, I only caught up to it after she said one thing and then said another, so it kind of canceled each other out in my mind.”
Manfred didn’t indicate whether he thinks the A’s are in danger of missing their 2028 target to open a stadium in Las Vegas.
“I would be disappointed, let me say it that way, if we didn’t open that stadium Opening Day 2028,” Manfred said. “Disappointed, just in the sense I think it’s the best for the A’s and the best for the game.”
(Top photo: AP Photo / Ben Margot, File)