It did not take Nostradamus-level foresight to believe the Oakland Athletics' planned move to Las Vegas was an ill-fated venture once it became clear last year that was owner John Fisher's top priority. Forcing the team to spend as little as possible on payroll, then whining that the city wouldn't give the franchise enough money to build a new stadium was utterly pathetic to watch in real time. But there were a bunch of glaring issues obvious to even the uninformed fan that could easily trip this move up.
Like, for example, where the Athletics were going to play given Las Vegas does not have a Major League Baseball stadium. Sure, they could just build one, but that comes along with many, many pitfalls on its own. Then you get into the complete lack of interest from the residents of Sin City (perfectly illustrated by the dead silence that greeted Fisher when he was in town for a business convention) and it's clear that this will be anything but a smooth process.
Even the mayor of the team's new city does not seem to be entirely on board. Carolyn Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas since 2011, did an interview with Front Office Sports in which she expressed her personal opinion that the Athletics don't actually want to be in Las Vegas and so they should stay in Oakland.
Most fans would agree for different reasons but the one Goodman puts out there is pretty difficult to argue against. The city had the perfect plot of land for a stadium and the A's said they did not want it because they were obviously trying to use Vegas as leverage. The city of Oakland would not budge and now the A's have one foot in Las Vegas with plenty of problems still to come.
Which makes one wonder -- could this possibly fall apart? The rest of the league's owners approved the move unanimously so it's unclear if any backpedaling is possible. But if the city turns against Fisher to the degree that a stadium won't be built anytime soon ... what happens then? Does Fisher have to go crawling back to Oakland? Do the A's become the league's nomad team, bouncing around to venues that are available?
There doesn't seem to be an option that is not horrifically embarrassing for Fisher or MLB. Which means there is a theoretical and extremely slim chance Fisher would be forced to sell. It would be a beautiful karmic end to this whole saga and a classic tale of greed getting the better of man. It also isn't entirely unrealistic due to the blow-up potential this situation has. Again, not at all likely for these billionaires to move against their own. Look at how long it took the NFL to eject Daniel Snyder.
The early signs for the Las Vegas A's are not at all positive.