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Oakland mayor refers to Las Vegas as ‘gross’ in interview ahead of MLB opening day

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf had quite the dig against Las Vegas on Thursday when doing an interview ahead of the MLB’s opening day.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 10:08 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf had quite the dig against Las Vegas on Thursday when doing an interview ahead of the MLB’s opening day.

While some MLB teams will open their seasons on Thursday, the Oakland Athletics will begin their season Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

It has been no secret that the A’s have not-so-quietly been considering a potential move to Las Vegas, should the team not reach an agreement with Oakland for a new ballpark.

During an interview Thursday morning with ABC7, Oakland Mayor Schaaf didn’t hold back on her feelings about Las Vegas, even referring to the city as “gross.”

When discussing the negotiations with the A’s about the ballpark, an anchor mentioned that the team’s president, Dave Kaval, has said that “it’s harder to do business in California” than it would be “if the team moved to Las Vegas.” Mayor Schaaf responded by saying, “Yah, it’s going to be more complicated, and you’ve got to be much more environmentally focused when you’re developing on the precious California coastline than in the gross desert of Las Vegas.”

Oakland has previously lost two professional sports teams, as the NFL’s Raiders relocated to Las Vegas for the 2020 season, and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors moved to San Francisco.

While executives with the A’s have made multiple trips to Las Vegas to look for potential ballpark locations, the proposed waterfront stadium in Oakland has been met with recent setbacks, including a lawsuit and a proposal from one city councilmember to leave the decision up to voters.

In a tweet later Thursday morning, Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft called the comments “ignorant and elitist,” adding that the comment, “may be one reason why so many people, companies, and teams want to get the heck out of your jurisdiction.”

Naft went on to invite Oakland’s to come to the Las Vegas Strip anytime and said he would be “glad to better inform you.”

Mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman provided the below statement on the comment:

“Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has this right - sustainability is a top priority. The beautiful city of Las Vegas has long been a world leader when it comes to sustainable practices and is also a top tourist destination. Mayor Schaaf we’d love to have you join the more than 42 million visitors a year and enjoy a trip to Las Vegas. We could go to an Raiders game.”

Schaaf responded to Goodman on Twitter late Thursday afternoon:

“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.”