Given that California continues to be a popular topic in sports, the long-running conflict between the Oakland Athletics and the city may be coming to an end sooner than many supporters had anticipated.
Others are thinking about leaving the state at the same time as many celebrities and corporations are.
Ownership of the Athletics has been ambiguous for some time as to whether they desire to remain in Oakland or relocate to one of the numerous major cities that do not currently host a baseball franchise.
The Athletics’ contractual obligation to play games in RingCentral Coliseum will end in 2024.
However, discussions over hiring a new stadium have come to a standstill between ownership and the city of Oakland.
The MLB is no longer confident that the Athletics will remain in Oakland, according to Rob Manfred in an interview on Sirius XM.
ICYMI: @MLB Commissioner #RobManfred talked about Oakland & Tampa and their current ballpark situations. pic.twitter.com/Q7wLSJY6n0
— Chris Mad Dog Russo (@MadDogUnleashed) October 29, 2022
If the Athletics decide to try to stay in Oakland, they will have another chance to bargain with the city the following year.
A’s president Dave Kaval stated in June that it would “all but doom our efforts” to remain in Oakland if negotiations are not finalized in 2022.
Interviewer Chris Russo stated that baseball cannot be played in the RingCentral Coliseum, where the team now plays. Eventually, this has to come to an end.
Now, Manfred starts to discuss the possibility of transferring the team to a bigger market, such as Las Vegas.
“I do want to say this; I think the mayor in Oakland has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland,” said Manfred. “It just doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen. I’m not positive about it. I think the A’s have proceeded prudently in terms of exploring the Las Vegas alternative; given the lack of page in Oakland I think they have to look for an alternative.”
And there you have it; the Major League baseball team with the worst attendance in 18 years might be moving shortly.
“If Oakland does leave, when would that be?” the interviewer asked.
“Look, Oakland, It’s hard to say,” Manfred replied.
“Within five years?”
“Oh yeah, oh yeah. Something has to happen. We can’t go five more years in the Coliseum,” the commissioner declared.
“You think at the end of the day Oakland’s going to Vegas?”
“I didn’t say that… what I said is, and I stand by it, is given the lack of pace in Oakland, the lack of certainty, they have to be looking at Las Vegas as an alternative because they can’t continue to play in the facility they’re in,” Manfred said.
Manfred remarked this about the Tampa Bay Rays when asked about the other MLB team whose future was in doubt.
“I see Tampa differently; I think a properly located facility in Tampa, that Tampa’s a viable major-league market. I’ve got a lot of faith in Stu Sternberg; I think they will find a place to get a ballpark built and I think baseball can thrive in Tampa,” Manfred ensured fans.
With this revelation, it appears that while Athletics fans will be left wondering where the club will call home in the upcoming years, Tampa Bay Rays fans can now rest easy knowing that their team is staying put.
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