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MLB owners approve Oakland Athletics’ Las Vegas relocation

MLB owners have voted unanimously to approve the Oakland Athletics’ controversial relocation to Las Vegas, according to widespread reports.

Athletics owner John Fisher intends to move the team to a new stadium on the Las Vegas Strip for the start of the 2028 season, after failed attempts to secure a site in their current city for a new home to replace the aging Oakland Coliseum.

The team’s current lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires at the end of the 2024 season, and it is not yet clear where they will play between the 2025 and 2027 campaigns.

The proposed relocation required backing from three-quarters of team owners at the league’s annual owners meeting in Arlington, Texas, and the move received unanimous support from those present, according to widespread reports on Thursday.

The Nevada government has already approved $380million of public funding for a new $1.5billion stadium in Las Vegas, though a legal challenge from a statewide teachers union could yet impact those plans.

Thursday’s vote paves the way for just the second MLB relocation to take place in over 50 years. Since the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers in 1972, only the Washington Nationals – previously the Montreal Expos – have moved, doing so in 2005.

Las Vegas would become the fourth city to host a franchise which played in Philadelphia from 1901 to 1954 and Kansas City from 1955 to 1967. Oakland also lost its NFL franchise to Las Vegas just three years ago, when Raiders owner Mark Davis successfully relocated the team.

Opposition to the move has been fierce, with dissenting chants serving as a backdrop as the A’s went a league-worst 50-112 in 2023. Fans held a so-called “reverse boycott” earlier this year to urge Fisher to sell the team.

Oakland mayor Sheng Thao also addressed MLB owners in a letter last week, urging them to oppose the relocation and claiming the city was also able to procure public funding for a new stadium.

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