With New MiLB Deal, Oakland A’s “Beat’ Oakland Raiders To Las Vegas
Friday, September 21, 2018 at 07:00PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Las Vegas 51s, MLB, MLB, MiLB, Oakland A's, sports business

By Barry Janoff

September 20, 2018: Sometime in the next few years, the NFL’s Oakland Raiders will relocate to Las Vegas and then play in a new $1.8 billion stadium, scheduled to open for the 2020 season.

MLB’s Oakland A’s have now beaten the Raiders to the punch, making the move to Las Vegas, in a manner of speaking, by signing  two-year player development deal with MiLB’s Las Vegas 51s, who also are moving into a new stadium.

The AAA 51s have been an affiliate of the New York Mets since 2013 before the deal ended when the season concluded earlier this month.

The 51s will play in the new Las Vegas Ballpark beginning with the 2019 season (moving from Cashman Field) with naming rights owned by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

"It is an incredibly exciting time to partner with the Las Vegas 51’s,” Billy Beane, Oakland’s evp-baseball operations, said via the club. “Their ownership group is committed to providing a first-class environment for our players, which includes the grand opening of the Las Vegas Ballpark for the inaugural season of our affiliation.”

The 51s have called the city home since 1983 — known as the Las Vegas Stars until 2000 — originally as an affiliate of the San Diego Padres, then the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays until the Mets aligned with the team.

This past October, team owners got the go ahead to build a $150 million stadium when the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority signed a 20-year, $80 million deal for naming rights.

Ownership said that the club would get a new name and logo along with its new stadium, effectively losing its association to Area 51, the military base tied to UFO and other-worldly alien activities, also ending one of the quirkiest logos and mascots in baseball. A naming contest is currently underway.

Team owners are Summerlin Las Vegas Baseball Club LLC, a joint venture comprised of The Howard Hughes Corp. and Play Ball Owners Group, which purchased the MiLB team in 2013.,

According to Don Logan, president and COO for the 51s, "We are excited to have the Oakland A's as our new Major League affiliate . . . The relationship with the A's goes back to the 1990's when they played regular season games in Las Vegas (1996).”

Logan said that the proximity between the Bay Area to Las Vegas will provide the opportunity to move players much easier regarding the roster transactions from the Triple-A to the Major League level.

He said that McCarran International Airport has non-stop flights to the numerous PCL markets, as well as the big cities, that enables our team to have the best travel in the 16-team league.
 
"This will be a great situation for our fans to watch top prospects in the A's system as well as players on Major League rehabilitation assignments showcase their talents in the Las Vegas Ballpark,” said Logan.

Las Vegas has become a hot bed of pro sports over the past few years. The NHL Vegas Golden Knights last season reached the Stanley Cup Finals as an expansion club, the WNBA’s Aces relocated to the city this past season from San Antonio, with the Raiders scheduled to relocate to Las Vegas in 2019 or 2020.

The UFC has its headquarters in the city and holds numerous events in the T-Mobile Arena, where it is a partner.

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