Tropicana Slated for Late 2024 Demolition if Oakland A’s Proceed with Las Vegas Move


Demolition for the Tropicana Las Vegas casino hotel could happen as soon as late 2024 if the Oakland Athletics (A’s) proceed with their move to Sin City.

Tropicana stadium
Tropicana Las Vegas. The venue could be demolished in late 2024 to make way for a baseball stadium. (Image: Getty Images)

That timeline coincides with expiration of the team’s lease on its current ballpark in Oakland. Earlier this week, Ross Edwards, senior vice president of operations at Mortenson McCarthy, told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority that construction on a new Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium in Las Vegas would need to commence by April 2025 at the latest to have the venue ready prior to the start of the 2028 season. Mortenson McCarthy was hired by the A’s to manage development of the new ballpark.

In May, Tropicana operator Bally’s and the A’s announced a binding agreement that paved the way for the land occupied by the once iconic Strip casino resort to become the home of a new MLB stadium. Soon after, it was revealed that Tropicana’s lifespan was measured at 18 to 24 months.

The MLB team previously had a binding agreement with Red Rock Resorts pertaining to approximately  40 acres at the intersection of I-15 and the Tropicana. It’s believed that the accord fell through because the amount of public financing needed to build a stadium on that site is $500 million, compared with $395 million for the same project on Tropicana’s land.

Tropicana Fate Driven by A’s, Bally’s

On the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call yesterday, Gaming and Leisure Properties (NASDAQ: GLPI) COO Brandon Moore noted “Tropicana is a process largely driven by the A’s and Bally’s at the moment.”

However, GLPI is the owner of the real estate, making its perspective on the matter relevant to all stakeholders. The real estate investment trust (REIT) already committed to $175 million in financing for a stadium project there, but recently noted it could up that amount.

I think we already have disclosed that we’ve committed to a minimum investment number to help demolish and clear the site and to do a little bit of shared infrastructure as to whether or not we decide to invest more into that project,” said Moore on the conference call.

He added that there could come a time when GLPI decides to boost its investment in the stadium project, but added “it’s way too early in the process for us to make any sort of commitment on that now.”

Development costs on the stadium are estimated to be $400 million, the bulk of which will be paid for by the A’s, but the team is in the process of trying to procure financing for the remaining $1.1 billion needed to bring the project to life.

Tropicana Could Be Revived in the Future

GLPI previously said it would work with Bally’s to potentially resurrect Tropicana, in updated form, at the stadium site when the ballpark is completed. Demolition of the venue isn’t surprising and likely would occur without the A’s moving to Las Vegas because Bally’s promised a major overhaul of the venue.

Still, the looming death of Tropicana in its current form means a piece of Las Vegas history will die, too. In a bygone era of Sin City lore, the Tropicana had numerous ties to organized crime. In the late 1950s, then owner Ben Jaffe came under scrutiny after an earnings promissory note to Luciano family boss Frank Costello was discovered.

In the late 1970s, Tropicana was the target of a cash skimming operation perpetrated by the Civella crime family of Kansas City. That crime ring served as part of the plot inspiration for the 1995 hit film Casino, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone.

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