John L. Smith On The A's Saga: Follow The Money To Oakland
The dream of luring the Oakland A’s to Southern Nevada has been fueled by “hopeful optimism because the Oakland franchise officials have come to Las Vegas so often,” says John L. Smith.
The State of Nevada commentator said he is more skeptical of the Major League Baseball team’s relocation from the Bay Area despite the “very public kind of tire-kicking” the A’s have shown with repeated visits to Las Vegas.
Along with the high-profile trips to Southern Nevada, the team has also quietly continued to negotiate with Oakland-area municipal governments over a massive mixed-use redevelopment project that would include a new stadium.
“It makes some people wonder just what's going on here,” Smith said, “whether the team is holding out for some more benefits from city and county officials in the Oakland area.”
The Howard Terminal Project at the Port of Oakland would bring, along with the stadium, skyscrapers to reshape the city skyline and leave room for future expansion of the port.
“Remember, they're the home team,” Smith said. “This is the big multi-billion dollar deal. That seems to me to be pretty well down the road to being done.”
Smith said that doesn’t make any of the Las Vegas interests less serious, just less well-funded.
“There are several properties around the Strip that would be delighted to have the team come there,” he said. “I'm not sure they're going to want to foot the bill for a billion-dollar stadium.”
Closer to home, the infighting continues in Nevada Republican circles. A judge last week told squabbling GOP factions that the party, not the courts, needs to resolve the differences.
The Clark County GOP is disputing what it calls a takeover from the state party, which is closely aligned with former President Donald Trump.
Following a disputed county party election and the filing of litigation, the judge said the Republicans should deal with their differences internally at a meeting scheduled for next week.
“It basically was a judge's way of saying you need to settle it yourself; go back to the schoolyard, and scrap it out until someone comes out ahead,” Smith said. “Maybe I'll be surprised and they'll all have hearts and flowers session and, and get along. I'm kind of doubting.”
John L. Smith, commentator, State of Nevada