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City of Oakland (Photo: oakland.ca.gov)

Oakland A’s Impending Move Continues To Infuriate Business Owners Nearby Stadium

Owners mainly blame city for current predictament

By Evan Symon, May 17, 2023 2:30 am

Oakland business owners continue to decry the upcoming move of the Oakland Athletics MLB team to Las Vegas, telling the Globe that they are now in dire straits.

For the last 20 years, negotiations between the city of Oakland and the Athletics, the NFLs Oakland Raiders, and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors for new stadiums have been ongoing, with each team dropping out of the city one by one. In 2019, the Warrior left for a new arena in San Francisco after talks with the city failed. The next year, the Raiders left for Las Vegas after the Athletics renewed an agreement with the Coliseum, forcing their hand after it was expected that they would build a new stadium on the site.

Meanwhile, during this time, the number of professional teams in California increased out of the Bay area, with many existing teams gaining new stadiums or renovations to keep them in their respective areas, with the only major issue being the move of the San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles a few years ago. In 2023 alone, the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA are currently building a new arena and both Los Angeles and San Diego have received expansion teams in the MLS, beating out cities such as Las Vegas and San Antonio.

As for the Athletics, the city, as well as surrounding cities, have routinely failed them. Plans for a new stadium in Fremont were blocked by city leaders in the mid 2000’s, with a potential stadium in San Jose being shot down due to being in the Giants’ media area. A stadium on the campus of Laney College was also rejected by College leadership. The most recent attempt for a stadium was back in Oakland itself at Howard Terminal. However, years of negotiations turned out to be slow, with taxpayers being outraged at the hundreds of millions being thrown at the team for the new stadium. While the city forged ahead, many port and rail officials soon also noted that the new stadium could really interfere with operations there, with many detractors noting that the city just wanted to give the team a waterfront spot for a stadium to try and keep them.

In 2022, things had been looking good for the stadium until the city fell through on plan deadlines, causing the MLB Commissioner to raise doubt that the team would stay in Oakland. By this time, the city had already lost out on its two other teams, with the Warriors moving to a new arena in San Francisco and the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, with both teams getting new stadium and arena deals. This led to the announcement earlier this year that the A’s would be buying land in Las Vegas near the Strip, all but ensuring that Oakland would be losing the team sometime in the next few years. While the new stadium was recently changed to the site of the current Tropicana Casino on the Strip, it is still expected for the move to occur in the next few years.

Move to Vegas

For restaurants, bars, and shops around the site of the Coliseum catering to fans, the last five years have been a disaster. Two teams, meaning two big sources of revenue, have been erased, with the last remaining team, the A’s, not being great either as they are to move by 2025 and extremely low attendance. A recent game brought in only around 2,000 fans, the lowest attendance in MLB history of a non-forced no attendance game since 1979, and coming in lower than most minor league teams.

“We’re dead,” explained Charlie Lee, a restaurant owner nearby whose business is reliant on fans, to the Globe on Tuesday. “People here already felt they lost the team, so why show up? And, as a result, we have no one coming in. Ten years ago, it would be packed. And on Sunday, Mother’s Day, we had open seats. Mother’s Day. Ten years ago we had people selling reservations secondhand here. We had reservations for New Years and other holidays a year in advance. Now? We’re lucky if we even break even once a week.”

Others expressed similar drops in business.

“Once the Athletics are gone, we’re gone. No one really comes up this way for much else besides the occasional concert,” added bar manager Kelly Quinn.

And business owners blame mainly the city for their predicament.

“You know, we’ve been trying to adapt and change around our business to draw people in,” continued Lee. “The teams all tried to make it work. I mean, during the Warriors runs for the finals, we were always packed. But Oakland, what [Former Mayors Jean] Quan and [Libby] Schaaf did to just ignore the problem, well, you can see what happened. Oakland will have no more big teams. An empty crumbling stadium, a barely used arena, and, for the next couple of years, a team that gets barely any fans. [Current Mayor Sheng] Thao can spin it any way she wants, but the city is to blame here. We all know it. They killed us.”

Quinn also added “I usually don’t think it’s fair to blame one entity, as the teams were kind of on their own agenda, but the biggest blame does go to the city of Oakland and their leadership, if you can call it that. We’re just not a major city anymore. I mean, the Dodgers and Padres renovated, and the Angels are planning to renovate. The Giants have a good as is stadium. The city never gave us a chance. Other cities treated their teams  as the important drivers to the city that they are. Five star restaurants. We got treated like a dive bar that’s being burned down for the insurance money.”

More updates on the A’s move is expected soon.

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7 thoughts on “Oakland A’s Impending Move Continues To Infuriate Business Owners Nearby Stadium

  1. “Warriors moving to a new arena in San Francisco and the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, with both teams getting new stadium and arena deals”
    This claim is
    The Warriors paid for their own arena – hint, hint….they didn’t get any “deal”

    1. YUP…the the fabulous Warriors bucket ball team…what geniuses, they underwrite the cost of a new venue in where? The nation’s hub of commerce and trade of open drug use and sales, the pinnacle of cultural devolvement, now the hub of elitist thought talk and the infamous Tenderloin District, where the poorest SF residents are a sacrifice group for the illicit but quasi-legal fetty fed cash cow for the bootlicking junior Bay Area politicians who fall politically in line so they can rake in a share of the drug cartel’s money derived from child sex trafficking, extortion and a drug pipeline that puts the 20th century’s Marseille heroin market in France to shame. Boudin and circuses for the vomit worthy self righteous clown show that SF culture has become. Those of us that remember know a city that practically demanded a degree of intellect and self awareness as admission whether approaching from Candlestick and the KYA radio tower, the Waldo Tunnel or Angel Island. The intellectuals of the 50s and 60s have been replaced by self important strip miners of the free exchange of ideas. Hippie indeed died in the mid 60s when a parade was held to commemorate the occasion in SF. Gone are the writers like Herb Caen who would masquerade with the elites and then reveal them as the Emperor Nortons that they were in his column in the Chronicle. No conversation is allowed now concerning Cesar Chavez and his frequent references to illegal aliens as “wetbacks”. His legacy to improve the working conditions of migrant seasonal farm workers has been lost to a misinformed public that now actually believes he would promote Sanctuary Cities for illegals.

  2. as a Las Vegan I personally do NOT want the A’s to come here just like I didn’t want the Raiders here either…. reason being Vegas used to be a pretty cheap place to live eat drinks were cheap hotels were reasonably priced etc…not anymore…taxes went up food went up drinks went up gas went up resort fees are outrageous parking fees went up bad bad BAD

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