Manfred Wary of A’s Vegas Situation but Looks Toward MLB Vote

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred expressed concern about a potential public vote in Nevada that could hinder the imminent relocation of the A’s from Oakland to Las Vegas. In an interview before the start of the World Series, Manfred stated, “If there was an adverse development with respect to that referendum, that would be a significant development. That’s all I can say about that.”

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Manfred revealed that the owners could vote on the relocation during their upcoming meetings on November 14-16 in Arlington, Texas. The move requires approval from 75% of the owners.

On June 15, both houses of the Nevada state legislature passed a bill allocating $380 million for a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat ballpark for the A’s on the Las Vegas strip. Following this, the A’s submitted an application for relocation to MLB. However, the Nevada State Education Association established a political action committee to gather 102,000 signatures and put a measure on the ballot for a public vote in 2024. The teachers argue that any public funds should be directed towards the school system instead of a ballpark.

A successful referendum could jeopardize the already allocated public funds for the ballpark and potentially delay the A’s relocation. Although talks between the A’s and the City of Oakland regarding a stadium and real estate project have been on hold, Oakland city officials have expressed willingness to resume negotiations.

For now, the A’s have a lease in place to play at the Oakland Coliseum until the end of the 2024 season.

Manfred stated that MLB’s relocation committee held three meetings last week to discuss the A’s stadium situation, which has been unresolved for decades.

“Once they have a pretty good sense of where they’re headed, I have to consult with the executive council,” Manfred explained. “Then, after that consultation, I prepare a recommendation to the clubs and go back to the executive council for an actual vote on the recommendation I made. That would be followed by a vote of the 30 clubs.”

Shifting focus to another significant topic, Manfred expressed openness to discussing potential changes to the current playoff system with the MLB Players Association. In the first two years of the new 12-team format, several first place teams with 100 or more wins were granted a bye in the first round only to be eliminated later. This postseason, teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and Baltimore Orioles, all with over 100 wins, were eliminated in the Division Series.

Manfred stated that these discussions would take place during the offseason, adding, “Enough has been written and said that we have to think about it and talk about it. But my own view is the format served us pretty well.”

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