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  • Steven Morano

Athletics to Leave Oakland for Sacramento

Steven Morano


The Oakland Athletics have been a staple of Major League Baseball for more than 50 years. Kelly Green jerseys, generational players, multiple World Series championships and like it or not, the Oakland Coliseum, have become the focal point for American League baseball in the Bay Area and have garnered generations of support from the citizenry. Remembrance of the past may be the reason why fans care so much about the status of the team in the city, as the club’s own fans have been protesting and even boycotting games for several years now.


John Fisher, a former real estate developer and heir to the fortunes of the clothing brand company, Gap, purchased the Athletics in 2016 from Lewis Wolf, another real estate developer. But success in the 21st century can be traced back all the way to Stephen Schott. Under Schott’s ownership of the club from 1996-2004, the A’s were constant contenders in the playoffs, making the American League Divisional Series four years in a row, this peaked under General Manager Billy Beane and his “Moneyball” approach to baseball which has been accredited to creating the professional game that we know today.

Under Fisher’s control, the team has been nothing but underwhelming in the bigger picture. Even though the team has made the post season on a couple of occasions over Fisher’s tenure, the overall play has been disappointing, going 573-631 in the eight years of Fishers ownership.


As well as a subpar combined record, the team has had back-to-back 100+ loss seasons in the last two years. This is in stark contrast to the history of baseball in the city of Oakland and a team who won three World Series in a row from 1972 to 1974 and who went to the Series back-to-back again a decade later eventually winning the 1989 World Series against their local rivals, the San Francisco Giants.


Cracks started to formulate in the plan when the Oakland City Council and Fisher started to argue over a new stadium to replace the Coliseum, which is widely known as the worst stadium in the Major Leagues.

Rumors started to flare up about a potential move to Las Vegas in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, a plan that would see the team ceremonially reunite with the Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL, the team that left Oakland in 2019.

But this flee from the Bay Area is nothing unfamiliar to Oakland sports fans, as the Golden State Warriors of the NBA left the city for neighboring San Francisco in 2019, coinciding with the Raiders leaving.


Once fans began to come back to the ballpark after the pandemic, fans immediately began to protest against the team by wearing shirts that simply said “Sell”. Fans even began to completely boycott games, leaving the stadium which has a capacity of nearly 47,000 almost empty. But last season, fans did the unthinkable, a reverse-boycott, doing their best to try and sell out the stadium all the while chanting “sell the team” throughout the games.

 

But at the end of the 2023 season, ownership announced that the Oakland Athletics, a team that had become and American League staple in California, announced their move to Las Vegas in 2028.


The focus then shifted to where the team would play until then, as the stadium lease in Oakland expires at the end of the 2024 season.


It was then announced at the beginning of this current season that the A’s would play two hours north in Sacramento, California from 2025-2027 with an option for the following year, ending the 55-year history of the team in Oakland.



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