The Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team announced late Wednesday the signing of a binding agreement to buy land for a future ballpark in Las Vegas, prompting Oakland to cease negotiations with the A's on plans to build a new waterfront ballpark.
With the agreement to purchase 49 acres of land west of the Las Vegas Strip, the A's plan to build a 35,000-seat stadium with a partially retractable roof after finalizing a public/private financing partnership with the state of Nevada, the team announced via MLB.com.
The A's had previously been seeking a waterfront ballpark at Oakland's waterfront Howard Terminal, but plans and agreements with the city and other local and regional agencies were still pending and the team said it could not wait any longer.
"We know this is a really difficult day for our fans in Oakland and the Oakland community," A's president Dave Kaval told MLB.com. "We put an incredible six-year effort into trying to get this waterfront vision for a stadium approved. At the end of the day, the progress has not been fast enough."
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao in a statement said she was "deeply disappointed" about the A's announcement.
"The city has gone above and beyond in our attempts to arrive at mutually beneficial terms to keep the A's in Oakland. In the last three months, we've made significant strides to close the deal. Yet it is clear to me that the A's have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas," Thao said.
"I am not interested in continuing to play that game -- the fans and our residents deserve better," the mayor said. "Given these realities, we are ceasing negotiations and moving forward on alternatives for the redevelopment of Howard Terminal."
The A's, if the move ends up happening, will be the third pro sports team to leave Oakland in recent years after the Oakland Raiders football team moved to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors basketball team moved across the Bay to San Francisco.