Gaming and Leisure CEO Carlino Says Oakland A’s Have ‘Strong’ Interest in Bally’s Site

Posted on: May 2, 2022, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: May 2, 2022, 11:54h.

Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics haven’t yet confirmed a move to Las Vegas. But one real estate executive might have insight into the club’s Sin City plans.

Tropicana stadium
Tropicana Las Vegas, seen above. A real estate executive says the Oakland A’s remain interested in building a stadium there. (Image: Getty Images)

Gaming and Leisure Properties (NASDAQ:GLPI) CEO Peter Carlino said on the company’s recent first-quarter earnings conference call that the A’s remain interested in a potential stadium project near the Tropicana on the Strip.

It’s been widely publicized that the A’s are looking at this site. They’ve looked at others. I think they — I think — it’s safe for me to say that they have a very, very strong interest in our site if the transaction can work to their advantage,” said Carlino on the call last week.

News broke last December that the A’s are evaluating building a stadium at the site of the Tropicana. GLPI owns the real estate of the venue, while the casino-resort is operated by Bally’s (NYSE:BALY).

Hurdles to Clear

While the possibility of the A’s moving to Las Vegas recently sparked a war of words between officials of the two cities, it’s far from official, and there are myriad issues to conquer.

Major League Baseball (MLB) wants Las Vegas taxpayers to chip in $275 million toward an estimated $1 billion stadium construction tab. Following a controversial contribution of $750 million by taxpayers for Allegiant Stadium — home of the NFL’s Raiders — there’s speculation Gov. Steve Sisolak (D-NV) doesn’t want Las Vegas residents saddled with part of the bill for a new ballpark.

Additionally, there are no guarantees the A’s, should the team confirm a move to Sin City, will proceed with the Tropicana site. There are rumors the team is also considering unused land owned by Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) for a possible ballpark.

“There’s a lot of hurdles that have to be covered. We intend to, as long there’s something in it for us,” added Carlino on the call.

GLPI Fine to Let Trop Stay as Is

When Bally’s secured the operating rights to Tropicana from Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) in April 2021, it marked the buyer’s entry into Las Vegas. It’s still the operator’s only venue in the largest US casino center. It remains to be seen how the company would proceed in Las Vegas if Tropicana is demolished in favor of a baseball stadium.

However, it’s clear Bally’s would be compensated for its troubles.

“That property is committed to go to Bally’s on terms we previously announced; that’s fine,” said Carlino. “If that’s all that ever happens, we’d be happy enough. If we can facilitate something bigger, better for them and for us, then you can bet we’re going to do that.”

He didn’t elaborate on what “better” means in financial terms for either his company or Bally’s.