Sacramento A's dreams could come true due to Nevada teachers

Sacramento's best probability to maintain the Oakland Athletics for the long haul could be a determined teachers union in Nevada.

Fed up with Nevada lawmakers allocating $380 million to a proposed A's baseball stadium in Las Vegas, the Nevada State Education Association is suing to stop Nevada from using public money to construct a elaborate home stadium for the A's. It can be planning a 2026 initiative that would put the $380 million to a public vote that appears to be on the side of teachers.

“This is a risky project,” said Alexander Marks, spokesman for the Nevada State Education Association.

Those challenges could delay or prevent the Athletics' planned move from Oakland to Las Vegas, with West Sacramento serving as a short lived site for no less than three baseball seasons starting in 2025. If Nevada teachers achieve court or on the ballot box, and all that Nevada taxpayer money can't be used for a Las Vegas baseball stadium, West Sacramento and Kings owner Vivek Ranadive could be hosting a significant league team with nowhere to go.

If this dream becomes a reality, Sacramento will undoubtedly have Nevada teachers to thank.

A never-ending battle

The Silver State ranks at the underside of the nation in per-pupil spending, and Nevada teachers are engaged in a never-ending battle with the legislature to make education a better political priority. Whenever the legislature spends public money on private purposes, teachers attempt to stop it.

“Our slogan,” Marks said, “is public money, public schools.”

The teachers lost a battle last yr when a divided Nevada legislature approved a financing package to construct a stadium on the positioning of the old Tropicana Hotel near Harry Reid International Airport. Lawmakers provided $180 million in transferable tax credits for the project and directed Clark County, home of Las Vegas, to issue $120 million in bonds. The same government agency that now runs the Las Vegas Raiders' football stadium would oversee construction and operation of the $1.5 billion baseball stadium.

The Athletics recently unveiled renderings of the proposed 33,000-seat stadium, which the team describes as a “spherical armadillo.” If the teachers have their way, the stadium won’t ever make it past the drafting board.

The education association has already filed a lawsuit difficult the constitutionality of the legislature's actions and has also been collecting signatures to challenge parts of the bill for a vote in the autumn. But the Nevada Supreme Court recently invalidated the petition drive, saying the outline was inaccurate for voters.

Marks says his association will now begin collecting signatures for a 2026 initiative that would jeopardize public funding for an A's stadium.

The teachers wish to give attention to the $120 million that Clark County plans to lift to finance the stadium.

Such conditions appear to learn teachers. A recent Emerson College poll found that only 32 percent of Nevada voters favor public funding for the stadium, while 52 percent oppose it.

“For someone from Reno, it's actually closer to drive to Oakland to go to an A's game than to Vegas,” Marks said.

A's deal is on the brink

Clark County intends to make use of revenue from the stadium to repay the $120 million in bonds, but that can require an actual stadium, a team and fans to repay the debt. If voters reject that public financing, “the whole deal probably falls apart,” Marks said.

A's owner John Fisher's decision to maneuver to West Sacramento appears to be sending a signal to Nevada. “It showed us that he's not coming to Vegas unless we give him the money first,” Marks said. Fisher could have a protracted wait.

Las Vegas is thought for its residencies and famous artists who take up residence in town for a series of performances. The Sacramento region will get its first-ever residency when the Oakland Athletics come to play baseball at the present home of the Sacramento River Cats. Perhaps the A's residency will last three years, but perhaps longer. The announcement of this residency in April sparked an outpouring of civic excitement in town, with Mayor Darrell Steinberg saying it was “the stuff dreams are made of.”

Our public excitement comes despite annoying facts, equivalent to the proven fact that A's owner John Fisher wants this stay in Sacramento to be only temporary and that there aren’t any plans or funding to construct a significant league stadium here.

However, nothing can stop a baseball fan from dreaming. It is the one way out of suffering.

The failure of the Las Vegas stadium plan isn’t any guarantee. But Sacramento baseball fans would still be grateful to Nevada teachers for stirring up trouble in Vegas. The A's may very well be punished by those teachers on the Nevada ballot box, and who knows what happens after that. Sacramento should love nothing greater than to placed on a parade for those teachers and a everlasting Major League baseball team for our region.

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