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MLB Won’t Assess Fee if Athletics Move to Las Vegas, per Reports

A major potential obstacle to the relocation of the Athletics has been removed, according to reports.

The franchise won’t be assessed a relocation fee if it decides to move to Las Vegas, the New York Post first reported Monday. The report was later confirmed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Athletics, who rank last in MLB attendance this season at 8,358 fans per game, have played in what is now called RingCentral Coliseum since moving to Northern California from Kansas City in 1968. The franchise has unsuccessfully tried to get a new stadium in the Bay Area for many years, and the idea of relocation gained traction last year.

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The absence of a relocation fee would eliminate a significant financial impediment for the Athletics to move to southern Nevada. By contrast, the NFL’s Raiders paid a $378 million fee for the right to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2020.

The last MLB franchise to relocate was the Expos when they became the Nationals in 2004. No relocation fee was assessed because the club was owned by MLB at the time. The team ultimately was sold for $450 million in 2006.

The Athletics entered play Monday with a 25–49 record, the worst mark in the major leagues.

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