Jeff Passan Says Las Vegas Athletics Move Failure Would Surprise No One – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

It seems like the saga surrounding the Athletics' potential move from Oakland to Las Vegas will never end, even though the franchise has completed several steps to make it a reality.

But while the A's figure out where they'll play in the meantime, with a new ballpark in Las Vegas scheduled to be completed by 2028, one MLB insider believes… It won't shock anyone If those plans fail.

“The whole process has been botched from the beginning,” ESPN's Jeff Passan said Friday on “Pardon the Interruption” when asked if MLB owners had doubts about the move. “They go back 20 years, and they were trying to get a stadium in Oakland, but they failed, and now they're going to Vegas, and all of a sudden it's going to be smooth sailing in a city that hasn't really shown any desire to have you.

“The whole thing has been a disaster from the beginning, and if this thing collapses, it wouldn't surprise anyone at all.”

Although MLB owners voted unanimously in favor of the A's move in November, Passan noted that there are doubts “everywhere” about whether or not it will actually happen. In addition to the vote, the A's also received public funding from the Nevada Legislature for their new stadium and have plans to build it on 9 acres of the soon-to-be-demolished Tropicana Las Vegas hotel.

However, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said during a recent podcast interview that the A's plans didn't make sense to her, and she believes they should try to stay in Oakland. She later walked back those comments and stated that the city was excited to have an MLB team as part of its growing sports scene.

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The A's lease to play at the Oakland Coliseum expires after the 2024 MLB season, and while the team has discussed extending the lease with the city, Sutter Health Park in Sacramento is said to be the front-runner to host the A's from 2025 through 2027.

And while MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said in recent days that he expects the A's to be playing in Vegas by 2028, Passan's comments certainly make it seem as if not everyone is optimistic.

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