The Athletics announced Monday that they’ve moved their Triple-A club from Nashville to Las Vegas, forging a partnership with the Vegas 51s for the first season of their newly constructed stadium. It’s a two-year deal partnership between the two sides, and while that’s a fairly short term, the two sides could easily extend that player development contract (PDC) for another two to four seasons after the 2020 campaign, as is frequently the case.
Las Vegas had previously been home to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, but the Mets purchased the Syracuse Chiefs last winter with the intention of moving their Triple-A club to a considerably more favorable location (geographically speaking).
Oakland was one of five organizations reported to be facing a potential relocation of its top affiliate, and the move to Vegas will now leave Nashville as one of four potential partner cities for the remaining clubs. Notably, the Nationals were reported to have interest in partnering with Nashville, now that their former Syracuse location is home to the Mets’ top affiliate.
For the A’s, they’ll step into a newly constructed facility in Summerlin — about 13 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Richard Velotta and Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last year that construction costs on Las Vegas Ballpark, the stadium’s formal name, would total $150MM.
“It is an incredibly exciting time to partner with the Las Vegas 51s,” said Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane in the press release accompanying the announcement. “Their ownership group is committed to providing a first-class environment for our players, which includes the grand opening of the Las Vegas Ballpark for the inaugural season of our affiliation. We’re looking forward to working closely with Don Logan and his staff as we both work towards putting a championship club on the field.”
“The new PDC will provide a tremendous environment for the players with the state-of-the-art amenities that will enhance player development with the indoor hitting cages, mounds and workout areas in the Las Vegas Ballpark,” 51s president and COO Don Logan said in a statement of his own. “…McCarran International Airport has non-stop flights to the numerous [Pacific Coast League] markets, as well as the big cities, that enables our team to have the best travel in the 16-team league. This will be a great situation for our fans to watch top prospects in the A’s system as well as players on Major League rehabilitation assignments showcase their talents in the Las Vegas Ballpark.”