The city is already losing one team to Las Vegas, but could the Oakland A’s really follow the Raiders out of town?
As the last remaining venue that hosted both MLB and NFL games, with some other issues, there’s an argument for the Oakland Coliseum as the worst stadium/arena in major North American sports. The Oakland A’s are hoping to find a solution for a new ballpark, with a site in mind, but things have not moved forward very well to this point.
The city of Oakland and Alameda County currently share ownership of the Coliseum, but the city wants the county to sell its share of the stadium to the city instead of the A’s. There’s an ongoing legal battle, with the next hearing scheduled for Nov. 14. In theory, the team would buy some portion of the land the Coliseum currently sits on and lead a redevelopment of it.
Last week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred levied a threat that the A’s would move to Las Vegas if Oakland didn’t drop its lawsuit against Alameda County. Essentially, Manfred’s threat is drop the lawsuit or the A’s will pursue other options with his full blessing.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed Manfred’s threat on Monday.
The reports of that are accurate,” Schaaf told KTVU-TV. “[Las Vegas] is the city that came out of his mouth.” “Obviously he chose his city wisely as far as exposing a pain-point that all Oaklanders feel about losing our sports teams,
Of course Oakland is already losing its NFL team, with the Raiders slated to head to Las Vegas in time for the 2020 season. As Vegas suburb Henderson has reportedly courted the Arizona Diamondbacks, and as MLB has embraced gambling interests the way other leagues have in line with its legalized expansion to other states, relocating a team to the city is not at all far-fetched anymore.
As Mayor Schaaf said, Manfred knew exactly what city to hang over Oakland as a threat for the A’s to move to. It seems to be a long way from happening, but with a legal battle holding up progress on a new stadium the A’s could eventually be on the move.