With the Oakland mayor making a last-ditch effort in recent days to entice the Athletics to remain there, the team itself is getting its community efforts going in Las Vegas ahead of a potential move to the city.
The A’s Community Foundation was added as a sponsor of the Battle for Vegas 2023 charity softball game slated for July 22 at Las Vegas Ballpark.
“The A’s Community Foundation is thrilled to join the lineup of sponsors to support Battle For Vegas 2023, which, in turn, benefits the Public Education Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters this year,” A’s president Dave Kaval said in a statement. “As the A’s work toward finalizing relocation to Las Vegas, we are proud and honored to support Reilly Smith and members from the Vegas Golden Knights, along with Maxx Crosby and his teammates, as they engage in a friendly game of softball at our affiliate team’s ballpark while raising funds for deserving nonprofits.”
Oakland mayor Sheng Thao met with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem Sunday in Seattle during MLB All-Star weekend and provided a comprehensive report of what the city has done to try to build a new ballpark for the A’s in the Bay Area, according to a report by the Athletic.
Thao reportedly brought 31 packets with her, detailing the city’s stadium plans, one for Manfred and one for each of the MLB owners.
When asked about the meeting, Manfred called it “good,” but then hinted that it could be a case of too little, too late.
“I understand she came to the process late and is doing her best to figure out if there is something that can be done in a process that was in a lot of ways kind of over when she showed up on the scene,” Manfred told The Athletic.
It remains to be seen what impact the report will have on MLB’s three-person relocation committee, but the A’s are seemingly moving forward with their eyes on Las Vegas, with their jump into the community scene and the charity softball event.
“We can’t think of a better way to start engaging with the Las Vegas community than through support of this unique event,” Kaval said.
The A’s Community Foundation joining the cause along with the Golden Knights and Raiders further unites the Southern Nevada professional sports community, according to James Sullivan, co-founder of the Battle for Vegas,
“We are thrilled to have the A’s Community Foundation as a Battle for Vegas partner,” Sullivan said in a statement.
In its fourth year, the Battle for Vegas features Team Reilly which includes Smith and current Golden Knights Jack Eichel, Adin Hill, Keegan Kolesar, Nicolas Hague, Logan Thompson, Zach Whitecloud and Shea Theodore, as well as former fan-favorite player Ryan Reaves. Team Maxx includes Crosby and current Raiders Nate Hobbs, AJ Cole, Daniel Carlson, Tre’von Moehrig and Dylan Parham.
The A’s will also be represented in the game and home run derby, as team alumnus Jose Canseco will participate in both.
Gates open on at 5 p.m. July 22, with the home run derby kicking off at 6:30 p.m. Opening pitch for the game is at 7:30 p.m.
Battle for Vegas has raised more than $550,000 since 2019 for local nonprofits. This year’s game will benefit the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation with funds distributed to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada and The Public Education Foundation.
For the first time this year’s event will feature a fan fest on July 21 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
That will be held on The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin and feature interactive games and activations from the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee and Topgolf.
The fan fest is free and open to the public, but upgraded bracelets are available for purchase for select experiences and player signings.