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Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao (Photo: Oakland.ca.gov)

Oakland Athletics Likely Moving To Las Vegas Following New Land Deal

Oakland halts all negotiations for new stadium site in city

By Evan Symon, April 21, 2023 12:20 pm

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao blasted the Oakland Athletics announcement on Thursday that they had signed a binding contract for land in Las Vegas, a move which will move the last remaining pro sports team out of Oakland and will further deplete the city’s once large stream of tax income from tenants at the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena.

Since the early 2000’s, the Oakland Athletics, one of the Bay Area’s two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams along with the San Francisco Giants, have been looking to build a new stadium somewhere in Northern California due to their current ballpark, the Oakland Coliseum, proving to be outdated and literally crumbling around them. As the team brings in millions to the city each year through taxes, fees, and fans spending money at nearby businesses, the city had always made it a priority to try and keep not only the A’s in town, but also the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

However, 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 on Thursday 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.

On Thursday, Mayor Thao spoke out against the deal, claiming that Oakland had only bargained in good faith with the Athletics, that all negotiations for the Howard Terminal site would stop immediately, and that she felt that the city was being used to get a better stadium deal in Las Vegas.

“The city of Oakland has for years worked to keep the A’s rooted here in the city of Oakland,” said Mayor Thao said. “This announcement happened mid-negotiations, and it shows they had no interest in reaching a deal with Oakland at all. Oakland is not interested in being used as leverage with the A’s negotiations with Las Vegas.

“There’s many things that could have been done differently including bargaining in good faith from the A’s side. We came to the table and we said we were not going to negotiate through the media, we agreed on that. This is why you saw that we were very quiet. However, working on negotiations in one city where your home base is and then doing what you are doing in Las Vegas and then calling me at 6 p.m. saying we have a land deal without letting me know there was parallel track, that’s a bit disingenuous.

“It is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game — the fans and our residents deserve better.”

Oakland Athletics all but certain to move to Nevada

While the move isn’t a 100% a done deal yet, statements by the Athletics on Thursday made the move all but certain to happen.

“We have made a strong and sincere effort to stay here,” said the Athletics in a statement. “We recognize that this is very hard to hear. We are disappointed that we have been unable to achieve our shared vision of a waterfront ballpark.”

Political and sporting experts noted on Friday that, while city officials have blamed the team, city leadership was largely responsible for the city going from three major league teams to none in the span of only a few years.

“There’s many people in the city to look at, but just look how Mayor’s past and present took all this,” explained Bay Area political advisor Jackie Avery to the Globe on Friday. “Former Mayor Jean Quan really botched potential deals ten years ago and failed to put in the early work to keep all the teams in the city with new stadium deals. Next, Libby Schaaf actually lost two of the teams and was doing poorly on keeping the third. They got close, especially after the new Howard Terminal Stadium passed environmental checks, but they didn’t keep up with it. And now Thao, instead of fighting for the team, is going to be remembered as the Mayor who lost the Athletics.”

“The city didn’t have a lot of good options and were kind of put in a corner by the team, but at the same time, they weren’t giving the team much of a choice. And now they’re pretty much gone. These teams used to bring in millions for the city each year, now, in a few years, all they will have are two fifty-plus year old venues with no tenants in them where maintenance is going to eat a lot at the city budget. Thao did not do her job on this one.”

The Athletics are now expected to leave the city sometime in 2025 or 2026, as the lease to the Coliseum ends in 2024, the new Las Vegas stadium not set to open until at least 2027, and the Las Vegas minor league stadium likely to be a temporary stadium for the team when they make the move.

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Evan Symon
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3 thoughts on “Oakland Athletics Likely Moving To Las Vegas Following New Land Deal

    1. Democrats have completely controlled Oakland for YEARS and their answer is to always blame someone else for the problems they created.

  1. Hey Gavin Newsom – you can add THIS to your political brag sheet and accomplishments on your Presidential drapes-measuring tour!!!
    Ever notice how EVERYTHING Democrats touch eventually turns to shi… er, MANURE!!!

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