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The owner of the Oakland A’s wants to build a $1.5 billion stadium on the Las Vegas Strip

The venerable Oakland A’s must once again extend a figurative cap and look for additional financing. John Fisher, the team’s owner, seems to have a grand vision in mind, with this fundraising serving as a crucial stepping stone. His eyes are set on the Las Vegas strip, where he dreams of building a $1.5 billion state-of-the-art stadium to house his team in splendor.

To that end, Fisher has enlisted the help of Galatioto Sports Partners, a company renowned for its prowess in sports financing. Over the course of his career, Galatioto has successfully brokered more than 100 such financing deals, playing a pivotal role in prominent deals such as Walt Disney Co.’s sales of the Los Angeles Angels and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Fisher will look to channel Galatioto’s magic once again to raise a substantial $500 million, which will make up a significant portion of the $1.1 billion he plans to personally invest in this new venture.

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The coveted location for the new stadium is a nine-acre parcel totaling 35 acres that will serve as a blank canvas once the legendary Tropicana casino resort is demolished in October. This piece of land is located in one of the most glittering stretches in the world: the Las Vegas Strip.

In terms of ownership stakes, should Fisher indeed manage to secure $500 million in private investment, this would theoretically amount to approximately 42% of the franchise. This is based on Forbes’ annual list of MLB valuations released in March, which pegged the Athletics’ net worth at a cool $1.2 billion. However, the equation may need to be revised as Fisher may have to offer potential investors a discount – a move dictated by his latest strategic pivot to commit to a minor league ballpark on a secondary market over the next three years, leading to lower profits.

What further complicates the situation is the presence of a “flip tax” in the moving agreement. This stipulates that Fisher must pay a 20% tax on the full sales price if he decides to leave the field and sell the team before the year 2028.

Although Fisher has a sizable $380 million to his name that he secured from the Nevada Legislature last June, it’s been anything but an uneventful journey. Safety is threatened by the Nevada State Education Association. The teachers union is ambitiously aiming to hold a referendum on the November ballot, which, if approved, could dismantle the previously approved SB1 bill and hand over the power to decide public funding for the stadium of the general public.

If everything falls into place, construction on this dream project is expected to break ground later this year. According to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, the work should be completed appropriately so the A’s can jump-start their 2028 season in their dazzling new home. But as with any undertaking of such size and complexity, the threatening clause remains – if it happens.