New A’s Ballpark Renderings Rate High for Laughability

The potential move of the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas has become one of the most baffling and amusing episodes in the history of Las Vegas.

The amusement continues with the recent release of new ballpark renderings from the A’s, renderings which have elicited a wide range of reactions. By “range,” of course, we mean all the various forms of ridicule.

Here are the A’s renderings. A quote from a high ranking casino executive sums it up best, “You can never have too many imaginary ballparks.”

Fun fact: Las Vegas recently experienced winds of 69 miles per hour.

The A’s called upon a Danish design firm, Bjarke Ingels Group, a company that clearly has never visited Sydney, Australia.

The baseball-theater-slash-opera-house is described as “a spherical armadillo,” although, our first thought was the designer was inspired by Tina Turner’s shoulder pads in “Beyond Thunderdome.”

Youths, “Beyond Thunderdome” was a 1985 movie about a post-apocalyptic dystopian future. Like San Francisco today, but with Australian accents.

When the renderings were released, architectural and sports experts began rattling off problems with the ballpark’s design, which was adorable, because analyzing this project with “logic” is like fact-checking the Teen Choice Award-nominated film “Armageddon.”

Don’t freak out, fellow OCD sufferers, we’ll shoehorn another movie reference into this story before we’re done.

The three biggest issues with the A’s renderings: 1) The A’s don’t have financing. 2) There’s no Bally’s. Which, oh, also doesn’t have financing. 3) The sun doesn’t set in the east.

Baseball players absolutely love the challenge of batting with the sun in their eyes.

Ultimately, it’s pointless to tear into the A’s ballpark renderings because, in the words of another casino executive (about the A’s ownership and management team), “These aren’t serious people.”

These renderings are obviously an April Fools’ Day joke, the A’s just missed it by a few weeks.

Naturally, the typical knee-jerk P.R. reaction to the tsunami of mockery ensued, with Las Vegas officials circling the wagons to express how excited they are about the A’s imaginary sportsball amphitheater which we have dubbed the “Debacle Dome” until there’s a naming rights deal.

You know it’s legit when Henderson and Summerlin Little League has your back.

The true believers keep on believing, of course, because Las Vegas was built on optimism and short memories.

Here’s a nice walk down memory lane at the previous ballpark proposals from the A’s.

Despite the fact Bally’s and the A’s have shown no indications they can pay for anything they’ve announced, the Tropicana casino (the site where all this is supposed to happen) is set to close April 2, 2024.

Tropicana will be demolished, at which point we will have again witnessed the paving of paradise to put up a parking lot (see also Riviera). Yes, calling Tropicana a “paradise” is a stretch, but even the most mediocre casino is better than anything not a casino.

Shout-out to Jørn Utzon for designing the Sydney Opera House. Oh, and from here on out, our name is Scøtt because it looks cool and we get to say “dipthong” more often.

On the bright side, sources tell us Trop’s glorious stained glass ceiling will be saved, and if a ballpark does end up being built on the site, the ceiling will be integrated into the venue in some way.

Could the A’s come to Las Vegas? It’s possible. The odds still sit at 60/40, the new renderings having moved the needle zero percent.

Will Bally’s build a resort on the Trop site? No. They simply do not have the resources to do so. Bally’s Corp. was going to demolish Tropicana prior to the A’s eye-balling the location, as it has struggled for years.

Could Bally’s Corp. (and land owner Gaming & Leisure) sell the site? Yes.

To who? Or possibly whom? Potentially, MGM Resorts could swoop in the save the day. They have resorts all around the site, and would probably benefit most from the ballpark being in that location. The usual suspects, REITs (real estate investment trusts) are unlikely to touch a purchase without a resort on the land. Landlords like to know they’re going to get rent. The viability of a Major League Baseball ballpark in that spot remains a big question mark despite all the breathless cheerleading.

The A’s could not have chosen a better Las Vegas partner than Bally’s Corp.

The A’s proposed ballpark will never fit on the nine acres Bally’s has offered (the entire site is 35 acres), but as we said, this isn’t about “reality,” it’s about sales. The A’s and Bally’s Corp. need money, they need something to include in their pitch deck. (We’re pretty sure the A’s are still just trying to make Oakland up the ante by pretending they’re serious about moving. Renderings are serious!)

The A’s have been trying desperately to get investors, and to sell a minority interest in the team, but there have been no takers to-date.

The new renderings are just the latest in a series of confounding decisions and unbridled WTF, and the A’s saga is just getting started. If, by some miracle, this project moves forward, the ballpark won’t be completed until 2028, and there’s a lot of guaranteed face-palming between here and there.

Enjoy our macaroni-based ballpark rendering, which has just about as much chance of happening as the A’s renderings.

Props to the A’s for doing something, after months of delays, but most aren’t impressed by the armadillos-having-a-threesome design of the Las Vegas A’s ballpark.

We’re pretty sure these renderings will join the long list of things imagined (and rendered) but never realized in Las Vegas, including All Net Resort, Wynns Paradise Park, Alon Resort, Kind Heaven, Bleutech Park and many others.

Still, Las Vegas is only a little bit about reality. It’s more about dreaming big, and some of those dreams come true. In the words of Willy Wonka, “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

In the case of the A’s, “We are the yankers of chains.”