LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As the Athletics franchise hopes to break ground on a $1.5 billion stadium in Las Vegas, the sporting world is still abuzz over the team’s apparent move to the entertainment capital of the world.
There’s still the matter of securing funding with expected tax breaks for the team, along with a special tax district at the stadium, which will require 15 acres of the site that the baseball organization is set to purchase from Red Rock Resorts. Another 24 acres will be used to develop businesses around the facility.
The Baller Dream Celebrity Poker Tournament at Circa Resort & Casino in Las Vegas allowed sports stars nationwide to weigh in on the Athletics’ big move south to southern Nevada.
Derrek Lee, a World Series champion with the Florida Marlins, said he felt for the Oakland fanbase as the Athletics prepare for their new home.
“There’s a lot of nostalgia,” said Lee. “There’s been some great teams to come through there — a ton of history.”
“The Big Hurt” and five-time all-star Frank Thomas said all of the sports franchises are pouring into Las Vegas at once.
“For a long time, this has been an unbelievable sports city,” Thomas said of Las Vegas. “I love the fans of Oakland, but they’re just not supportive anymore.”
Greg Maddux, a World Series champion as an Atlanta Brave, also noted the influx of professional sports into southern Nevada.
“Everybody loves the Knights, the Raiders, and the Aces,” said Maddux. “I’m looking forward to it. I mean, I love baseball, and it’d be nice not to have to get on a plane to go watch again.”
Goose Gossage, a 9-time all-star, says Vegas and baseball are an excellent match.
“Mix in a few slots and some baseball,” Gossage said. “Great combination.”
Eleven-time all-star and 2-time World Series champion Roger Clemens also thinks baseball is a good fit for Las Vegas but may have trouble remembering the city’s new team names.
“I’ve got to get out here because I’m an Oakla— I’m a Las Vegas Raiders fan,” Clemens said, almost calling the team by its former California Bay Area moniker.