As the Oakland Athletics’ Las Vegas relocation work continues, the team has hired a small army of lobbyists to carry out groundwork with state leaders.
The team has 11 lobbyists listed as active for the Athletics Investment Group for the 82nd session of the Legislature. Among them is A’s President Dave Kaval.
Kaval and another lobbyist, Alexander Dean of Sansome Partners/Hawk Management, have RingCentral Coliseum listed as their address on the state’s lobbyists listing. Four of the lobbyists are from the Kaempfer Crowell law firm, which has an office in Downtown Summerlin.
The lobbyists will look to garner public support for the team’s pursuit of a potential public-private partnership for its ballpark efforts in Las Vegas, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
When the Raiders relocated to Las Vegas from Oakland, they secured $750 million in public funding, paid for by way of a 0.88 percent room tax on hotel rooms in Clark County. The room tax was approved during a special session of the Legislature in 2016.
What the A’s plan entails remains to be seen, but Gov. Joe Lombardo already has stated that he is not in favor of raising taxes to help lure professional teams to the state. Lombardo, who has met with A’s leadership, did add that there could be existing economic development programs the A’s could be eligible for, should they choose to move to Las Vegas and build a new 35,000-seat stadium.
The A’s are eyeing a trio of locations to build a $1 billion retractable roof ballpark on or near the Las Vegas Strip.
After having a list of two final preferred sites — Tropicana Las Vegas on the south Strip and the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on the north Strip, Thursday a source indicated to the Review-Journal that the A’s were “seriously considering” the Rio hotel site. A spokesperson for Rio owner Dreamscape Companies confirmed that Dreamscape was open to the idea of adding a ballpark on-site and had been discussing it.
The emergence of a new site and the hiring of multiple lobbyists come as Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred noted that the A’s have shifted the focus of their new ballpark quest to Las Vegas.
Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.