The franchise could leave Oakland.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has taken out the saber and has warned Oakland and Alameda County, California elected officials you better give Oakland Athletics’ owner John Fisher hundreds of millions of dollars of public money to build his baseball stadium village or else. Manfred told a group of attendees at the CAA World Congress of Sports that “frankly, in some ways, we’re not sure we see a path to success in terms of getting something built in Oakland.” Then Manfred threw Tampa Bay into the mix and while MLB cannot walk away from St. Petersburg quite yet, MLB can pull the A’s out of Oakland after the 2024 season.
“Both Oakland and Tampa need new facilities. It’s kind of beyond debate at this point. Oakland probably critical in terms of condition of the ballpark. Whatever you want to say about Tampa, it’s playable for right now and they have a lease that goes through 2027. Oakland’s in a critical situation. We need to find a way to get new ballparks built in those two cities. Or, particularly in the case of Oakland, we’ve had to open up the opportunity to explore other locations, just because it’s dragged on so long.” Manfred is correct, it has been dragging on for decades in Oakland. In 1980, A’s owner Charles Finley agreed in principle to sell to Marvin Davis, who planned to move the Athletics to Denver. But Oakland and Alameda County blocked the deal. For more than two decades various owners have tried to get a new Oakland or Fremont or San Jose stadium built and have failed. San Jose was a problem as the San Francisco Giants control the territory even though voters said no to a Giants stadium in the city. Manfred said A’s relocation is a possibility but it might not be to Las Vegas.
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