Various A’s ownership groups have been looking to leave the Oakland Coliseum for four decades.
There may be some sort of irony here. As Mark Davis’s Oakland Raiders legal department was attempting putting the finishing touches on a 30-year lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority which includes an annual rent payment of a dollar a year, the San Francisco Business Times reported the 2017 Oakland A’s marketing campaign will include a tagline, “we are still here.” That line may or may not be meant to troll Davis’s Raiders or the owners of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors who intend to take the franchise across the Bay Bridge and set up shop near the end of that bridge in San Francisco. The A’s franchise is still in Oakland because of circumstances.
The former head of the A’s ownership group Lew Wolff struck out in getting a new baseball park in Oakland and in Fremont which is south of Oakland near Santa Clara and San Jose. Wolff was hindered by the archaic 1922 Supreme Court decision that granted the American and National Leagues of Baseball an antitrust exemption because baseball was a game not an interstate business. The San Francisco Giants franchise claims territorial rights to San Jose and Santa Clara. In 2015, a federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of antitrust claims in a lawsuit by the city of San Jose against Major League Baseball, in which San Jose accused Major League Baseball of illegally blocking the franchise proposed move to the south bay city. That is why the A’s franchise can claim “we are still here.”