Bay Area/ Oakland/ Sports
Published on April 08, 2022
Oakland’s mayor starts firestorm after commenting on the A’s possibly moving to Las VegasPhoto Credit: City of Oakland

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is facing more backlash after taking her throwing shade at Las Vegas even further. It all started when Schaaf started reacting on live TV about the Oakland A’s possibly moving to Las Vegas instead of playing at a proposed waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal. Schaaf was trying to persuade the A’s to stay in Oakland but what she said might have gone a little too far.

“You’ve got to be much more environmentally focused when you are developing on the precious California coastline than in the gross desert of Las Vegas,” Schaaf said to KGO-TV. The reference to the ‘gross desert’ started a firestorm on Twitter mainly from Las Vegas officials and residents who take pride in their area. 

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeted back saying “the beautiful @CityOfLasVegas is a world leader in sustainability & top destination,” Goodman wrote. “@LibbySchaaf please join the more than 42 million visitors a year and enjoy a trip to Las Vegas. We can go to a @Raiders game.”


Schaaf refused to apologize for the comment tweeting the following day, “hi @mayoroflasvegas! I respect every mayor sticking up for her town. But I just can't apologize for preferring our gorgeous California coastline over a sweltering desert.” 


Schaaf then took her comments one step further, this time in an interview with NBC Bay Area.  “Listen, I respect that everyone … and I know Mayor (Carolyn G.) Goodman of Las Vegas has gotten into the fray as well. We’re always going to stick up for our cities. We love them. I do not, however, apologize for preferring the spectacular vista of our bay, our Bay Bridge, the San Francisco skyline, the sunset over the Pacific Ocean to the desert, and some pretty tacky architecture,” Schaaf told new anchor Raj Mathai Thursday.

The ‘tacky architecture comment was a reference to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas where the Raiders now play after moving from Oakland. Schaaf may have a lot more to say if the A’s actually do decide to skip town for Sin City and the prospect of the A’s staying in Oakland is not looking good. 

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he and A’s president Dave Kaval “had quite a conversation about a couple sites that they’re still seriously considering. We went over the pluses and minuses and the obstacles and benefits of the various sites they’re looking at. I talked to the commissioner (Rob Manfred) a couple weeks back about Major League Baseball’s desire to move into Las Vegas. So there’s a lot more movement than I think a couple months ago.”

The A’s are considering five sites and could announce as early as next month whether or not they will stay in Oakland. If they move, it would mark the third professional sports franchise to leave Oakland while Schaaf has been in office. That includes the Golden State Warriors who moved to San Francisco this past year.