(KRON) – The Oakland A’s are officially planning to leave Oakland.
The team issued a statement confirming the organization has signed a binding agreement to purchase land for a future ballpark in Las Vegas.
Oakland A’s president Dave Kaval said the deal with Las Vegas was finalized last week to buy a 49-acre site where the A’s plan to build a stadium close to the Vegas strip, in a statement issued Wednesday. The statement went on to say that they realize that this is a difficult day for the Oakland fans and community and that they are disappointed that they were not able to achieve a waterfront ballpark in Oakland.
“We’re turning our full attention to Las Vegas,” Kaval said. “We were on parallel paths before. But we’re focused really on Las Vegas as our path to find a future home for the A’s.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred said in December the A’s would not have to pay a relocation fee if the team moved to Las Vegas.
“We’re past any reasonable timeline for the situation in Oakland to be resolved,” Manfred said then.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao also released a statement saying she is disappointed that the A’s have decided not to negotiate with the city.
“In the last three months, we’ve made significant strides to close the deal,” Thao said. “Yet, it is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game – the fans and our residents deserve better. “
Details of the reported deal have not yet been made publicly available. Kaval said the team hopes to break ground on the 35,000-seat stadium by 2024 and begin playing there in 2027.
Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo told KRON’s sister station in Las Vegas: “The prospect of bringing new jobs, more economic development, and an exceptional MLB team to Las Vegas is exciting on many levels. As we continue to navigate this opportunity, I’m in regular communication with the A’s, Major League Baseball, legislative leadership, and local and state stakeholders.”
The A’s would be the second Major League Baseball team to change cities in the last 50 years.
Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54.
Once the A’s leave Oakland, the city will be left without any major sports franchises.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.