A’s owner John Fischer has been under fire from fans for failing to invest in the team. The A’s haven’t been able to reach a deal for a new stadium in Oakland, prompting the relocation to Las Vegas. The Athletics will become the second team to leave Oakland for Las Vegas in recent years, the Raiders moved in 2020.
This is just the second time in a half-century that a baseball team has relocated. The Montreal Expos relocated to Washington in 2005. After announcing the plans to potentially relocate in 2021, the A’s have been on a parallel path. The team chose Las Vegas in 2023 and the MLB waived the relocation fee.
The front office received lots of backlash from fans over the course of the 2023 season. Chants of “sell the team” served as a background noise for most home games. Those chants spread to away games and even to the MLB All-Star game, which was held in Seattle.
In a letter sent to half the MLB owners last week, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said the city had procured $928 million in funding for a stadium and surrounding development and wanted to keep the team. The lack of a new home is far from the only reason why the organization would want to move. Oakland is a smaller media market. The new stadium, located at the site of the old Tropicana hotel, is slated to be built on a 9-acre parcel, which would be one of the smallest in MLB.
The A’s relocating to Las Vegas marks a time in history where Oakland has no more professional sports teams. The Golden State Warriors moved out of Oakland and across the bay to San Francisco in 2019. The relocation process for the Athletics is one step closer as the MLB Owners voted unanimously for the relocation.
The A’s still need to finalize the plans for construction on a 33,000-seat stadium. The stadium would be the smallest by nearly 2,000 seats. Las Vegas would rely heavily on Tourists to fill the stadium.
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