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Oakland A's Owner John Fisher has two versions of the truth

How will A's owner John Fisher be paying for his ballpark in Las Vegas? There are a couple of versions out there

Following the release of the long-awaited Las Vegas ballpark renderings, Oakland A's owner John Fisher spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle and said that he needed $500 million in equity financing as part of how he would be funding the stadium. Yesterday, we broke down what that would look like and how much of the team would have to be sold to make it happen. 

The A's later clarified that statement with the Chronicle, with this mentioned as an aside in an article about Big-League Weekend, which was published on Thursday afternoon. "The A’s clarified owner John Fisher’s statement to the Chronicle this week about seeking outside investors, saying that the Fisher family can provide the final $1 billion in stadium funding without equity investors but is open to adding some."

Also on Thursday, Forbes had a Q&A article with A's president Dave Kaval about the ballpark renderings, which included this response on the funding plan. It starts with the author's point of view. "Outside of that, when I asked directly if the funds were in place right now to go along with the public dollars, Kaval said yes citing Fisher’s prior comments regarding tapping into the family enterprise, if necessary." 

So here we have two quotes saying roughly the same thing after the fact, and one, in a phone conversation directly with John Fisher, that says they're paying for this project with outside funding. 

With Fisher and the A's it's always a little difficult to figure out what the truth is. The team has been silent throughout much of this process, only popping up now and again to show that they're making progress in their relocation efforts. Whether or not that progress is tangible or of any substance in many regards is up for debate each time. 

Here, it would appear that the truth would be that the Fisher family is willing to put more money into the project than the $500 million they're currently saying they'll contribute, but the preferred method of funding the project would be to have someone else pay a good chunk, if not all of the remaining $500 million to get this across the finish line in exchange for part-ownership in the team.

With so many questions about how Fisher will fund this project, projected at $1.5 billion, it'll be interesting to see what happens when the overages start piling up, especially if the family is already on the hook for $1 billion with no outside investors. That may actually be where the other parties come into play. 

Here's an idea.

Fisher would like to bring in someone from the outside at $500 million (the valuation of the franchise that they'd be buying in at is also interesting), and then the family would be on the hook for roughly $500 million in overages if it came to it. The goal would be to get this built for under $2 billion ultimately. 

Another question here is what happens if the public funding goes away and the Nevada teachers are successful in putting schools over stadiums? That would be $380 million that is being included in the initial cost, so bringing someone else in would basically just offset the money that would be disappearing. 

Big League Weekend begins on Friday with two A's games being played in Las Vegas, and there will surely be lots more news coming in the next few days.