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Gaming and Leisure Properties Bullish on A’s Las Vegas Move


Posted on: November 16, 2023, 04:54h. 

Last updated on: November 16, 2023, 05:03h.

It’s official. Following a unanimous vote earlier Thursday by Major League Baseball’s (MLB) owners, the  Oakland Athletics (A’s) are moving to Las Vegas. As the owner of the land on which a new stadium will eventually be constructed, Gaming and Leisure Properties (NASDAQ: GLPI) applauded the decision.

Tropicana stadium
The Tropicana Las Vegas is slated to be demolished following the approval of the Oakland A’s moving to Las Vegas. (Image: Getty Images)

A new stadium, which is expected to open in advance of the 2028 MLB season, is slated to sit on nine acres of land owned by GLPI that currently serves as the home of the Tropicana Las Vegas casino hotel. That integrated resort is operated by Bally’s (NYSE: BALY). While the decision to bring the A’s to Las Vegas seals Tropicana’s demolition fate, something Bally’s may have done anyway, it’s possible another gaming venue will eventually appear near the ballpark.

The arrival of the A’s as well as the new stadium and adjacent entertainment and casino resort, both of which are expected to open in 2028, represents a transformational project for Las Vegas, baseball fans, the local community and local employment, which will build on the city’s reputation for delivering unrivalled world-class entertainment options,” according to a statement issued by the real estate investment trust (REIT).

In April 2021, Bally’s acquired Tropicana’s non-real estate assets from Gaming and Leisure in a transaction valued at $308 million. As part of that deal, the gaming company sold the property assets of venues in Colorado and Illinois to the GLPI real estate investment trust (REIT) and agreed to lease back those properties. Bally’s has a 50-year lease for Tropicana, starting at $10.5 million annually.

GLPI Has Long Been Bullish on Stadium Project

Gaming and Leisure executives previously said that if the A’s move to Las Vegas became a certainty, resulting in a tear-down of Tropicana, the REIT would provide some compensation to Bally’s. Related points weren’t mentioned in the statement, but it’s clear that barring an acquisition, Bally’s will be left without a Las Vegas integrated resort for some time.

For its part, GLPI has long been bullish on the stadium project. The REIT already committed $175 million in financing to the endeavor and, last month, an analyst noted the company could up that amount.

Perhaps coincidentally, the casino landlord on Wednesday announced the sale of $400 million worth of corporate debt maturing in 2033. Those senior notes sport a coupon of 6.750%, but GLPI didn’t say if that transaction is related to stadium financing.

“Bally’s and GLPI have agreed to transfer the stadium site after the satisfaction of various conditions in exchange for the benefits that the stadium is expected to contribute to a new integrated casino and entertainment resort that will be developed at the site, Las Vegas, and surrounding areas,” according to today’s statement.

Las Vegas Now Has Four Pro Teams, NBA Missing

With the addition of the A’s, Las Vegas will be home to four professional sports teams, three of which moved to the city from other regions. The A’s and the NFL’s Raiders both came to Sin City from Oakland, while the two-time WNBA champion Aces moved to Las Vegas from San Antonio. The defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights are the city’s lone “organic” professional franchise.

With the A’s on their way and with the Knights and Raiders already in town, the NBA is looking all the more conspicuous by its absence from Las Vegas. However, it could be another couple of years before there’s any movement on expansion by that league.

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