The A’s still don’t know where Las Vegas stadium funds are coming from

The Las Vegas Stadium Authority had a big meeting on Thursday, and you’ll never guess what happened next.

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Good news, everyone. The Las Vegas Stadium Authority held a meeting on Thursday to clear up all kinds of financial details about how the A’s stadium is going to be paid for. In typical A’s/Vegas fashion, the only thing that’s clearer after this is that no one knows what they’re doing or what’s happening.

As stated before, $380 million is coming from Nevada — though there was once again a claim that the A’s won’t use the full $380 million allotted them, as they’ll supposedly leave $30 million on the table, how generous of them — with the rest coming from personal seat license sales — PSLs — and the rest from financing. As Neil deMause noted on Thursday before the meeting when looking at the documentation released to the public beforehand, we didn’t get clarification on what John Fisher is actually paying for this stadium, or where he’s getting the money from:

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Notes: Scheduling jewel events, trading draft picks

All-Star Game week means All-Star Game week press conferences to pick apart.

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MLB’s All-Star week means it’s time for the Home Run Derby and a glorified exhibition game, but more importantly for our purposes, it’s also a time of press conferences. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred fields all kinds of questions related to the health of the game, and he even manages to answer some of them without being visibly annoyed about it, too.

One question was related to the Rangers receiving the 2024 All-Star Game, despite the fact that they don’t have a Pride Night during the season. Which is a thing that’s weird in a vacuum, but when you add in the context that they’re the only MLB team that doesn’t hold a Pride Night event, well. It sticks out, you know?

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Notes: Record stadium subsidy, John Henry speaks, gambling threats

The Rays are close to getting an admitted horrible deal for St. Petersburg, John Henry reminded people why he doesn’t give interviews anymore, and players are being threatened by gambling addicts.

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Usually the story told to cities and the public about stadium subsidies is that the new sports venue will be great for the local economy, it’ll pay for itself over time, etc. etc. So it’s kind of perversely funny that it’s already known that St. Petersburg’s nearly approved deal for a new Rays stadium will provide no revenue return to the city. City council member Richie Floyd, who is against the deal, has already said as much publicly: it didn’t even take some digging into the proposed deal from journalists to uncover that key piece of information.

What makes it even worse is that this is a $1.6 billion stadium subsidy, per Neil deMause’s calculations last month: the current record is Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, at $750 million, which means St. Pete is more than doubling that rate. Completely absurd, but just five of their eight city councilors are needed to approve the deal, anyway, and they’ve supposedly got the numbers for the July 11 final vote.

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Notes: Public team ownership, A’s ballpark funds

A deep dive worth diving into, and my latest from BP, plus a response to a comment there.

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R.J. Anderson has done some deep dives over the years at CBS Sports, but Tuesday’s feature might be one of the deepest: he looked at the history of private team ownership in professional sports, why it’s worked, why it’s been obstructed, and why it could be a useful rejoinder to the exceptionally greedy, corporate mentality that plagues pro sports today.

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Notes: Manfred speaks, the disposable pitcher, Diamond Holdings

Looks at the week that was.

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Forgive me for being a little behind here on the coverage dates, but my phone was undergoing a slow and then rapid death, which cuts into the whole keeping up with the news thing. So now, new and working phone in hand, we can hit some notes from around MLB, starting with the thing Rob Manfred recently opened his mouth about.

On May 6, Manfred spoke to (or spoke “at,” as Neil deMause put it) a gathering of editors at an Associated Press conference, with an emphasis on extolling the virtues of publicly financed stadium projects. It is incredibly Manfred for its… style. You know the one. That thing where he exaggerates and makes wild, indefensible claims without any proof to back them up, and would definitely get angry at a reporter or fans or sitting Congressperson for calling him out on it and asking for more details.

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Notes: MLB/Roku streaming deal, White Sox still bad

MLB might have a new streaming partner soon, and Jerry Reinsdorf’s White Sox are certainly made in his image

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According to The Athletic, Major League Baseball might be leaving Peacock behind when that deal is up, and moving over to Roku for streaming Sunday morning baseball games. It’s not that Peacock is uninterested in maintaining their relationship with MLB, so much as, per Andrew Marchand, they were willing to do so for one-third the value of the current deal, which pays $30 million annually.

Now, exactly which service MLB ends up with isn’t of much concern, but the thing to wonder about here is what Roku will be willing to pay to pry the league’s Sunday morning games away from Peacock. If there is no other competitor for the services, then sure, maybe Peacock gets away with offering less than last time, because MLB’s choice is then $10 million per year or nothing. With Roku involved, though, maybe Peacock bumps their offer up, or, in order to get their foot in the door in this realm, Roku is happy to surpass any offer coming from Peacock in order to be the most attractive option. Which could in turn mean MLB is (1) finding new partners to increase their revenue or (2) finding new partners in order to maintain their current level of revenue. Whether it’s the first or second thing depends a lot on how everything shakes down with Diamond and MLB’s eventual streaming-heavy future.

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Kansas City votes against the Royals, A’s and Oakland remain far apart on lease

The Johns are at it again.

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One of the first tests for whether Kansas City would hand over hundreds of millions of dollars to the Royals for a new stadium was given on Tuesday night. Good news, if you’re not an employee with the Royals: the voters rejected the proposal. Neil deMause has the details and some thoughts about what might happen next over at Field of Schemes.

All it took was a little bit of math by me — a non-math person — months ago to determine that the Royals are seeking what very well may be the largest publicly subsidy in history for a new stadium and surrounding development:

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Notes: The A’s don’t seem more Vegas-bound yet, Diamond’s future

The A’s aren’t clarifying how this relocation is going to work over time. Instead, it’s only being further muddled.

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On November 30, Baseball Prospectus published a piece of mine titled “The A’s Move to Vegas is Approved, Not Assured.” The idea being that MLB had given permission for the Athletics to vacate Oakland and head to Las Vegas, but beyond that, all that was in place was Vegas allowing it to happen, too. There were a number of ways this relocation could fall apart, and the two-plus months since this piece ran have not reduced that number, either.

On top of that, 2024 kicked off with a look at how the A’s still haven’t provided the stadium renderings that they had promised in early December, and the excuses they used for the delay, both directly and indirectly, no longer exist. So what gives?

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Orioles reportedly selling, raking in public funds while avoiding paying taxes

The wealthy get all kinds of exceptions, like not having to pay taxes on money they make, and being able to lie to the government to secure even more money.

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Orioles’ ownership are reportedly selling the team for $1.725 billion, ending the reign of control person John Angelos. I’ll pause a moment for fans of the team to applaud. It can’t just be a straightforward deal, though, since this is the Orioles and Angelos we’re talking about. No, this is complicated, with multiple steps in the process, and oh, John Angelos and the rest of the family aren’t actually going anywhere yet. They’re merely selling a significant chunk of the team and handing over the day-to-day control to a new owner, billionaire David Rubenstein (who is buying the team alongside another wealthy individual, Michael Arougheti, and, per the Baltimore Banner, O’s legend Cal Ripken Jr. is part of the group as well).

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MLB owners meetings begin Tuesday, Oakland mayor requests ‘no’ vote on A’s relocation

The Las Vegas A’s story will complete one more chapter this week, one way or the other.

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The annual MLB owners meetings begin in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday, November 13, and will run for three days. Assuming no gastrointestinal virus rips through them like happened with the canceled GM meetings, anyway. Among the many points under discussion is the Oakland Athletics, and whether they should become the Las Vegas A’s, or whatever it is they’d change their name to if forced.

The city of Oakland hasn’t fully given up on the A’s yet, with the current mayor, Sheng Thao, submitting a letter to 15 of MLB’s owners, asking them to vote no on the relocation of the club. Not all 15 would need to be convinced in order to halt the relocation, either: this kind of move requires 23 of the 30 owners to vote yes. If it does get the required number of votes, you can be sure a revote would be cast to make it seem as if it’s a unanimous decision, but before that false front is presented to the public, earning those 23 yays is the goal.

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