Oakland And Tampa Bay have been problem franchises for years.
The 2023 Major League Baseball regular season is at hand and MLB’s two problem stadium issues have not disappeared since the end of the 2022 season or even before that. John Fisher’s Athletics franchise will be playing in Oakland in 2023 and 2024 and there is no hint about the future of where the business is headed after the final day of the 2024 season. Fisher has been unable to get funding for a stadium-village on the Oakland waterfront or get money from Nevada elected officials for a stadium in Las Vegas. Fisher does not even have a plot of land available for a potential baseball stadium in Las Vegas. Meanwhile in St. Petersburg, the process of building a stadium-village at the site of the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball franchise’s present home has started. But there is a snag, Rays’ ownership has partnered with a building company to explore the possibility of constructing a ballpark in St. Petersburg but Rays’ ownership is still looking at the feasibility of moving across the bay to Tampa. Meanwhile, there is no firm commitment of staying in St. Petersburg beyond the 2027 expiration of the current business-city lease to use the St. Petersburg domed stadium.
The Oakland Athletics’ baseball stadium situation has been a news story for more than four decades. Past Athletics’ ownerships tried to move the team to Denver, Fremont, California, and San Jose. There was once a proposal to build a stadium-village at the site of the Oakland Coliseum. The Athletics’ owner John Fisher has played the stadium game pitting Oakland against Las Vegas hoping that someone will come up with funding that he seeks for a stadium. It has not happened. Las Vegas may not be a panacea for Fisher because it doesn’t have that many well-heeled customers and is too tourist dependent which is not good for MLB.
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