Major League Baseball owners could vote to make the Oakland Athletics' move to Las Vegas official in just a few weeks.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday while in Milwaukee that the vote could take place at the owners meetings that start June 13 in New York. While that would make things official, Manfred knows they are still several steps away from being ready to hold a formal vote.
"It's possible that a relocation vote could happen as early as June," Manfred said, via The Associated Press. "It's very difficult to have a timeline for Oakland until there's actually a deal to be considered. There is a relocation process internally they need to go through, and we haven't even started that process."
The A's have been hinting at a move out of Oakland for years now, though they've taken several concrete steps in recent weeks to make that move a reality. The club reached an agreement with Bally's Corporation to build a $1.5 billion stadium on the current site of the Tropicana Las Vegas casino earlier this month. The deal would bring a 35,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium to the Las Vegas Strip. The A's reportedly reached a tentative deal to receive up to $380 million in public funds for the project, too.
The A's current lease at the Oakland Coliseum, where they've played since arriving there in 1968, expires in 2024. The team and the city have struggled to come up with a deal to keep the A's in the Bay Area for years now, too, despite the ever-crumbling Coliseum.
While it may feel like a lost cause at this point, both Oakland mayor Sheng Thao and Manfred tried to alleviate angry A's fans' fears about relocation at least somewhat in recent days. Thao said she and the city are 'very close' to making a deal for a new stadium should the A's come back to the table, and Manfred didn't close the door, either.
"I think you'd have to ask the mayor of Oakland that," Manfred said when asked if the A's could end up staying in Oakland, via The Associated Press. "She said she had cut off negotiations after an announcement was made in Las Vegas. I don't have a crystal ball as to where anything's going. There's not a definitive deal done in Las Vegas. We'll have to see how that plays out."