Since the announcement on April 12 that a group known as Big League Utah led by the Gail Miller family is looking to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to Utah, many have wondered if the Oakland Athletics could relocate to the Beehive State.

The Athletics, after all, have been on the verge of moving for the better part of 20 years. Las Vegas has long seemed like the most logical destination for the franchise, but since the move hadn’t happened yet, the door was thought to at least be a crack open for Utah.

Well, it appears that door is rapidly closing.

Late Wednesday night, Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the A’s have signed “a binding purchase agreement” for land in Las Vegas “where a major league ballpark could be constructed.”

“For a while we were on parallel paths (with Oakland), but we have turned our attention to Las Vegas to get a deal here for the A’s and find a long-term home,” Akers quoted A’s president Dave Kaval as saying.

“Oakland has been a great home for us for over 50 years, but we really need this 20-year saga completed and we feel there’s a path here in southern Nevada to do that.”

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A statement from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred provided to the Review-Journal read, “We support the A’s turning their focus on Las Vegas and look forward to them bringing finality to this process by the end of the year.”

A statement from Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo read, “Welcoming the A’s to Las Vegas would be great news for southern Nevada as well as our entire state. The prospect of bringing new jobs, more economic development and a historic MLB franchise to Las Vegas is exciting on many levels. As we continue to navigate this opportunity, I’m in regular communication with the A’s, Major League Baseball, legislative leadership and local and state stakeholders.”

According to the story, there is still plenty of work to be done in terms of partnering with the state of Nevada and Las Vegas local officials before the move can be made, but Kaval said the plan would be to start playing in Las Vegas in 2027.

Since last week’s announcement by the Larry H. Miller Group, there has been talk that up to four new cities could become homes of MLB franchises.

In addition to the situation in Oakland, there has been speculation that the Tampa Bay Rays could potentially get relocated (although there is momentum to build a new stadium in southwestern Florida), and Manfred has said that he wants to expand MLB by two franchises, bringing the total number from its current 30 to 32.

The Athletics’ likely move to Las Vegas could be seen as a boon to Salt Lake City’s hopes of getting a team, as Las Vegas would no longer be a destination for an expansion franchise.

On Thursday morning, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Company Steve Starks commented via Twitter on the Las Vegas move to that effect, writing, “This was part of our calculus and would likely be a positive for @BigLeagueUtah”

Portland, Charlotte, Nashville and Montreal are widely considered to be other cities in the running to land a MLB team.