The Athletics’ drawn-out battle with the city of Oakland may be coming to a conclusion sooner than many fans imagined as California continues to be a hot topic in sports.
As many stars and businesses are leaving the state, others are considering doing the same.
For a few years now, Athletics ownership has not been clear whether they intend to stay in Oakland or move to one of the many big markets which do not currently have a baseball team.
In 2024, the Athletics’ will no longer be contractually obligated to play games in RingCentral Coliseum.
Even so, talks between ownership and the city of Oakland with regard to contracting a new stadium have stalled.
— Chris Mad Dog Russo (@MadDogUnleashed) October 29, 2022
The Athletics will be able to negotiate with the city of Oakland again next year if they choose to attempt to remain in the city.
A’s president Dave Kaval said in June that if talks are not concluded in 2022 that it would “all but doom our efforts” to remain in Oakland.
Speaking of the RingCentral Coliseum, where the team currently plays, interview Chris Russo said “you can’t have baseball being played in that ballpark. This has got to end eventually.”
Manfred now begins to talk about the prospect of moving the team to a larger market, like Las Vegas.
“I do want to say this; I think the mayor in Oakland has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland,” said Manfred. “It just doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen. I’m not positive about it. I think the A’s have proceeded prudently in terms of exploring the Las Vegas alternative; given the lack of page in Oakland I think they have to look for an alternative.”
And there you have it, the team with the worst attendance for a Major League ball club in 18 years may be soon on the move.
“If Oakland does leave, when would that be?” asked the interviewer.
“Look, Oakland, It’s hard to say,” said Manfred.
“Within five years?”
“Oh yeah, oh yeah. Something has to happen. We can’t go five more years in the Coliseum,” said the commissioner.
“You think at the end of the day Oakland’s going to Vegas?”
“I didn’t say that… what I said is, and I stand by it, is given the lack of pace in Oakland, the lack of certainty, they have to be looking at Las Vegas as an alternative because they can’t continue to play in the facility they’re in,” Manfred explained.
When asked about the other MLB franchise with an uncertain future, Manfred said this about the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I see Tampa differently; I think a properly located facility in Tampa, that Tampa’s a viable major-league market. I’ve got a lot of faith in Stu Sternberg; I think they will find a place to get a ballpark built and I think baseball can thrive in Tampa,” Manfred ensured fans.
With this news, it seems that while Tampa Bay Rays fans will be able to rest assured that their team is staying put, fans of the Athletics will be left wondering what city the team will call home in the coming years.
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