Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Vegas Mayor Says MLB By 2008
The franchises most likely to relocate to Las Vegas are the Florida Marlins, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. All three teams are searching for a new stadium and could be warming up to the idea of a home in the desert.The Devil Rays would certainly make some sense. Going from the AL East, where they have to compete with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox all the time, to the AL West, the club would be in a division easier for them to compete in, though I have a feeling they would still be awful, no matter what division you put them in. Okay, maybe the AL Central.
Despite long-term lease agreements those teams have with their current stadiums, Goodman said a team will be on the move by 2008. "Everything I hear would suggest that," he said.
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria sent three of his top aides here to meet with Goodman on Dec. 8. If it was a negotiating ploy, it backfired, because Florida state lawmakers reacted angrily. The Marlins are working on a new stadium deal in the Miami area, but if it falls apart, Loria is reportedly interested in Las Vegas.
- Los Angeles developer Lewis Wolff, vice president of venue development for the Athletics, plans to announce within three months whether he will exercise an option to buy the team. If Wolff goes ahead with the purchase and doesn't get a new stadium, he is expected to attempt to move the team out of Oakland.
- The Devil Rays have not publicly expressed interest in Las Vegas, but fans in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., area have shown little interest in the team, making for an unstable situation. The Devil Rays averaged only 16,139 fans per game at Tropicana Field in 2004, down from 30,942 for their first season in 1998.
One baseball source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Devil Rays are the odds-on favorites to land in Las Vegas.