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A’s train their sights on Angels fans riding rails to Vegas

Shohei Ohtani stands in the dugout, smiling and holding his batting helmet and glove.
Shohei Ohtani and the Angels might end up making several trips to Las Vegas a year if the Athletics relocate there from Oakland.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Would you take a high-speed train to watch the Angels play in Las Vegas?

The Oakland Athletics would like to know as they decide whether to become the Las Vegas Athletics.

On their fifth scouting trip to Nevada last week, the A’s explored an intriguing location for a potential ballpark: next to a possible train station, where high-speed-rail passengers from Southern California would end their trip to Las Vegas. In theory, you could get off the train and walk right over to the ballpark.

The A’s have commissioned focus groups to ask fans of the Angels and other American League West rivals about “interest in attending home games in Las Vegas if the team ultimately relocates to Southern Nevada,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week.

Fans of the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers could fly to Las Vegas, and the possible ballpark site would be about 10 minutes from the airport. The Angels would be the only AL West rival whose fans would be based close enough to fly, drive or take the train.

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That might be a more reliably attractive proposition for fans of the Chargers, a team that plays one game in Las Vegas each season. If the A’s were to move to Las Vegas, the Angels would play nine or 10 games there each year.

For the record: The A’s have not settled on a ballpark site in Las Vegas, secured funding for a ballpark there, or committed to move there.

As anyone who has returned from Las Vegas via Interstate 15 on any given traffic-choked Sunday knows, a high-speed rail route between Vegas and Southern California likely would be a rousing success.

But we’ve known that since at least the 1980s, when a group called the California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission recommended a route from Las Vegas to Anaheim. We’re still waiting on that and on the Los Angeles to San Francisco high-speed line approved by California voters in 2008.

And the current proposal for high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Southern California calls for a southern terminal in Victorville, with hopes to extend the line into the greater Los Angeles area at a later date.

In the meantime, if you want to take a train to watch the Angels play, there is a train station adjacent to the Angel Stadium parking lot. The station is outfitted for high-speed rail, if it ever comes.


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