Athletics Las Vegas Ballpark

MLB owners waiving A's relocation fee conditional on key factor

In order for the Athletics to avoid paying MLB an estimated $300 million relocation fee for moving from Oakland to Las Vegas, they would need an “acceptable” public-private partnership in place.

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After MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in December the Athletics wouldn’t be charged a relocation fee if they move to Las Vegas, more details on the offer have come to light.

The A’s made their pitch to Nevada lawmakers last Monday for a $380 million public funding package, Senate Bill 509, to help pay for a new $1.5 billion ballpark along The Strip.

Jeremy Aguero, an A’s consultant on the stadium project, explained to the joint committee of state legislators that in order for the team to avoid paying MLB an estimated $300 million relocation fee for moving from Oakland to Las Vegas, it would need an “acceptable” public-private partnership in place (h/t The Nevada Independent’s Howard Stutz).

“The commissioner of baseball has at least suggested that if the state of Nevada can get a public-private partnership that is acceptable to Major League Baseball, to everyone, that the relocation fee that would be traditionally provided from a team moving to one location to another would potentially be waived,” Aguero said.

In other words, the relocation fee being waived for the A’s "potentially" is conditional upon approval of the $380 million public funding package.

“They have not said that yet -- they are talking about meeting next month, and I think that’s certainly something that we all should hope for,” Aguero continued. "... When I get that question from time to time in terms of what the relocation fee would be, the best ballpark numbers that I’ve received is something on the order of $300 million is the relocation fee."

On the second day of MLB’s annual winter meetings, Manfred told reporters should the A’s talks with the city of Oakland for a new stadium break down -- which they did -- the team wouldn’t be charged the relocation fee for moving to Vegas.

At the time, Manfred said he already had gone to his executive council, which endorsed the stance.

“That’s why I was prepared to say it publicly,” Manfred told reporters in December (h/t Sportico’s Barry M. Bloom). “If they can get it done in Vegas, there will not be a relocation fee for them.”

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And the A’s don’t have long for Senate Bill 509 to be approved. The Nevada legislature is scheduled to close Monday, meaning a vote needs to happen before then or a special session will be required.

Manfred’s “get it done” can be taken a variety of ways, but according to Aguero, those three words mean the A’s have plenty at stake in the coming hours.

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