Oakland A’s vision: Las Vegas ballpark draws comparisons with Sydney Opera House/armadillo

George Ramsay, CNN | 3/7/2024, 9:05 a.m.
The Oakland Athletics have released renderings of their new, 33,000-seat ballpark on the Las Vegas Strip, which is set to …
The A's will move to the new ballpark in 2028. Mandatory Credit: Negativ via CNN Newsource

The Oakland Athletics have released renderings of their new, 33,000-seat ballpark on the Las Vegas Strip, which is set to be canopied by an enormous, five-tier roof.

Inspired by baseball pennants, some have compared the ballpark’s design to the Sydney Opera House, while others likened the individual tiers to the scales of an armadillo.

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and HNTB, the venue will sit on nine acres of the 35-acre Tropicana casino site and overlook the Las Vegas skyline, offering “an unmatched fan experience,” according to A’s owner John Fisher.

The A’s are due to start playing games at the new ballpark in 2028 after Major League Baseball owners approved the franchise’s relocation from the Bay Area to Nevada in November.

The outfield will have the world’s biggest cable-net glass window, a Tuesday press release said, and will contain an 18,000-square-foot jumbotron – the largest screen in the MLB.

Around the venue will be up to 2,500 parking spots and a large plaza of between two and three acres, but it’s the arresting roof which has really grabbed the attention of fans.

Fisher isn’t necessarily averse to comparisons with the Sydney Opera House and the scaly mammal: “I think the armadillo is an underrated animal, and I think the A’s are underrated at times,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“But comparisons to the Sydney Opera House is a huge compliment because that’s a building that’s withstood the test of time.”

The roof’s overlapping layers are intended to provide shade from the intense Las Vegas sun while also allowing natural light into the ballpark.

“The resultant architecture is like a spherical armadillo – shaped by the local climate – while opening and inviting the life of the Strip to enter and explore,” said BIG founder and creative director Bjarke Ingels.

“In the city of spectacle, the A’s ‘armadillo’ is designed for passive shading and natural light - the architectural response to the Nevada climate generating a new kind of vernacular icon in Vegas.”

BIG, the lead designer in the project, also put forward a design for the A’s new ballpark in Oakland which was never built.

The controversial relocation from Oakland – heavily criticized by many fans – will see the A’s become the fourth sporting franchise in Las Vegas, joining the NHL’s Golden Knights, the WNBA’s Aces, and the NFL’s Raiders.