Athletics Las Vegas Ballpark

‘Moneyball Act' introduced to protect cities losing MLB teams

NBC Universal, Inc.

In light of the Athletics’ pursuit of a ballpark in Las Vegas, California lawmakers introduced the “Moneyball Act” on Tuesday.

The bill would require owners of any professional baseball team seeking relocation to “compensate the state and local authorities they move away from.”

The “Moneyball Act” would apply to MLB teams who move more than 25 miles away from their previous home field. If owners don’t provide compensation, the league would be subject to antitrust laws it has been exempt from since the 1920s.

The compensation, per the bill, would be “not less than the state, local and or tribal tax revenue levied in the 10 years prior to the date of relocation” and “paid respectively to each state, local and or tribal government which levied taxes on the club in 10 years prior to the date of relocation.”

Senate Bill 1, the A’s proposal to receive up to $380 million in public funding for a new Las Vegas ballpark, passed the Nevada Senate in a 13-8 vote Tuesday afternoon. The bill now heads to an Assembly committee vote. If it passes, it will still need to go through an Assembly floor vote before landing on Gov. Joe Lombardo’s desk.

The Assembly is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. PT Wednesday.

“This legislation will ensure that no city and community is left behind when billionaires decide that lining their own pockets is more important than the community that supports them,” Congresswoman Barbara Lee said of the “Moneyball Act” in a statement. “The Oakland Athletics have been an institution of the East Bay for over half a century.

“If the A’s ownership group decides to leave, Oakland should not be left empty handed.”

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