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Oakland A’s Seek $500M Investor to Finance Vegas Stadium

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Posted on: April 30, 2024, 01:24h. 

Last updated on: April 30, 2024, 01:24h.

The Oakland A’s are, once again, holding their baseball hats out for more money.

AI renders an Oakland A’s baseball cap dispensing cash. (Image: ChatGPT)

According to a report in the L.A. Times, team owner John Fisher has just hired a firm called Galatioto Sports Partners to help attract one or more private investors.

The goal is to help Fisher raise $500 million of the $1.1 billion he’s expected to pony up for the $1.5 billion new stadium he wants to build for his team on the Las Vegas Strip. The ballpark would sit on 9 of the 35 acres that will be available once the historic Tropicana casino resort gets demolished in October.

Galatioto Sports Partners has brokered more than 100 sports financing deals, including the Walt Disney Co.’s sale of the Los Angeles Angels (to advertising magnate Arte Moreno) in 2004 and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (to Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli and his wife) in 2005.

This and other renderings released last month by the A’s of their proposed Las Vegas stadium drew widespread derision for ripping off the design of the Sydney Opera House and for showing the sun setting in the east. (Image: Oakland Athletics)

Field of Dreams?

In March, Forbes released its annual list of MLB valuations, which estimated the Athletics’ worth at $1.2 billion. A $500 million slice of the franchise, at that valuation, amounts to 42% of the team.

Fisher may have to give investors a discount off that valuation, however, one that could come perilously close to a majority share. That’s because his team has since committed to spending at least the next three years earning less revenue by playing in a minor league ballpark in a secondary market.

Also coming into play is a “flip tax” written into the relocation agreement, which would force Fisher to pay a 20% tax on the total sale price if he were to sell the team before 2028.

Fisher already secured $380 million from the Nevada legislature last June, but the security of that public financing is under attack from the Nevada State Education Association. The teachers union is attempting to place a referendum on November’s ballot that would invalidate the approved bill, SB1, and place the question of the stadium’s public funding into the hands of the actual public.

Construction on the new A’s ballpark is expected to start later this year, according to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, and finish in time for the A’s to start their 2028 season there.

That’s if it happens.

 

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