Oakland Is Not Throwing Anymore Money Chasing Major League Franchises

Oakland did invest in sports facilities and may have nothing to show for them soon.

In 1937, the writer Gertrude Stein penned the line ‘There Is No There There” about her Oakland childhood home being gone. For many in the Bay Area of California, their childhood sports teams in Oakland are almost all gone. The National Football League’s Raiders ownership twice moved the business out of Oakland. The National Hockey League’s financially struggling Oakland or California Golden Seals left in 1976. The National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors ownership went west over the Bay Area Bridge and ended up in San Francisco in 2019 which means the team is still in the market. Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics franchise ownership is attempting to move the business to Las Vegas by 2027 at the latest. Oakland was where rival leagues put teams. The American Football League’s Raiders franchise began play in Oakland in 1962. In 1962, Oakland and Alameda County decided to play the stadium game with the hopes of keeping the Raiders business in town and hoping to add a Major League Baseball team. Oakland had two teams, the Raiders and Charley Finley’s Athletics in the building by 1968. The NBA’s Warriors played in the arena after in 1971 Oakland was able to beat out San Diego to land the team. The American Basketball Association’s Oaks played two years in the arena and departed in 1969.

Oakland spent money on the coliseum and the arena. Oakland and Alameda County rebuilt the arena in 1996-97. Oakland spent money on the stadium to renovate the facility to get the Raiders business back into the building in 1995. Oakland and Alameda County kept investing and ownerships wanted bigger and better facilities because that is how the stadium game is played. Oakland has lost. The owners went elsewhere. Oakland politicians have finally decided enough is enough, the Athletics franchise and sports aren’t worth the municipal cost. Sports isn’t important.

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