Oakland A’s management has their hat in hand in the Nevada legislature asking for nearly $400 million in taxpayer money for their proposed Las Vegas stadium, and team executives are failing in their sales pitch even worse than the A’s are failing on the baseball diamond.
This season’s Oakland A’s may be heading toward the worst record in Major League Baseball history, but team management’s hopes for a quickie Las Vegas marriage may be failing more spectacularly, before the relationship is even consummated. Team president Dave Kaval has been unsuccessfully trying to persuade Nevada lawmakers to pony up $395 million in state taxpayer money for the franchise to move to Las Vegas, and one Wednesday exchange went viral, showing Nevada state Senator Fabian Doñate pretty much handing Kaval his rear end.
Dave Kaval got absolutely exposed by Nevada Senator Fabian Doñate. Bad, bad look for A’s leadership in the face of a direct question. #Athletics #RootedInOakland #VegasBeware #FisherOut pic.twitter.com/BJTTbhchOJ— Uprooted (@uprootedoakland) June 8, 2023
Doñate asks Kaval point-blank, “Will you willingly commit to pay the live entertainment tax in the near future to fix the equity issue that exists?”
Kaval flounders with “We are committed to being a great community partner,” and Doñate calls out the evasiveness and asks the question again. Tail between his legs, Kaval admits “The legislation as it is currently envisioned, you know, does not contemplate that. The project is based on, you know, what is currently proposed. We’ve been focusing on that for what is the path forward for the team and the community.”
In other words, that A’s have no fucking intention of paying that tax, and Doñate and the legislature has noticed this.
Dave Kaval trying to answer questions pic.twitter.com/dLmny1og2h— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) June 8, 2023
Now the Chronicle reports that the A’s don’t have the votes in the Nevada legislature to get that $395 million (though it’s since been whittled down to $380 million). This became apparent Thursday night when the Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston tweeted that the state Senate vote had been delayed. “What does this mean? Pretty simple: They don't have the votes,” Ralson tweeted.
So it's more than three hours after time set for state Senate to take up A's bill again today and no session yet.— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) June 8, 2023
What does this mean?
They don't have the votes.
At least not yet.
The Nevada state Senate is now adjourned until Monday. And the Nevada Independent reported at 5:07 p.m. Thursday afternoon that they did not expect a vote “until at least the middle of next week.”
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao told ABC 7 that she's still fighting to get the A's to stay put in Oakland.
"We deserve a baseball team. And we want the Oakland A's to be rooted here. Whether it's with this current ownership or with ... new ownership," Thao said.
Image: OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 28: Fans of the Oakland Athletics with signs saying Managing Partner John Fisher should sell the team during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at RingCentral Coliseum on April 28, 2023 in Oakland, California. The Reds defeated the Athletics 11-7. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)