The A’s, Raiders, Seals and Warriors along with the ABA Oaks will be part of the city’s lost history.
The city of Oakland is about to hold an American sports record that will be hard to beat. Oakland, when John Fisher can move his Major League Baseball franchise to Las Vegas, will have lost an MLB franchise, a National Hockey League team, a National Basketball Association business and twice saw the National Football League Raiders’ business leave town. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred claimed Oakland never had a substantial plan to keep Fisher in the city although there was that Howard Terminal waterfront stadium proposal. Oakland has been a baseball problem franchise since the day Charles Finley moved his Kansas City A’s business to the Bay Area in 1967. When Finley got to Oakland, the city had the American Football League Raiders, the NHL’s Seals and the American Basketball Association’s Oaks. The ABA team was never a draw and moved to Washington in 1969. The Seals, according to then New York Islanders’ General Manager Bill Torrey in the early 1990s and who was the Seals’ GM in 1968 never had a chance because of two reasons. People from San Francisco didn’t want to go to Oakland to see a game and even if they wanted to do so, it was by car only as there was no Bay Area Rapid Transit available. With BART, Torrey concluded, the team might have had a chance in the late 1960s to establish itself.
Al Davis moved his Raiders in 1982 to Los Angeles because of stadium issues, returned in 1995 but his son Mark left Oakland after 2019 because of stadium issues. The NBA Warriors’ present day ownership built an arena on San Francisco property and moved across the bay in 2019. Previous Warriors’ ownership moved from San Francisco to Oakland in 1971. Oakland has spent hundreds of millions of public dollars for sports facilities and will have nothing to show for it.
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