Even the Oakland Athletics have decided to pack up their things and leave, joining the mass exodus of Californians fleeing the once-Godlen State for a better life and the quality of life in Greasy Gavin’s soft-on-crime and high-tax state continues to decline.
That came out on Thursday, when one of California’s most iconic teams and the MLB’s best-known franchises announced that it had purchased land in Las Vegas after trying and failing to find a suitable spot for a new stadium in Oakland. According to ESPN, the team will now construct a 35,000-seat stadium in Sin City at the cost of about $1.5 billion.
Announcing the move, team president Dave Kaval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal during an interview that “For a while, we were on parallel paths [with Oakland], but we have turned our attention to Las Vegas to get a deal here for the A’s and find a long-term home. Oakland has been a great home for us for over 50 years, but we really need this 20-year saga completed and we feel there’s a path here in Southern Nevada to do that.”
Predictably, the move has infuriated Oakland officials. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, for instance, attacked the move in a blistering statement to ESPN, saying:
“I am deeply disappointed that the A’s have chosen not to negotiate with the City of Oakland as a true partner, in a way that respects the long relationship between the fans, the City and the team. Yet, it is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game — the fans and our residents deserve better.”
Despite California acting outraged over their high-profile departure, the A’s leaving should hardly be a shock for the once-Golden State, which has seen a slew of high-profile departures in recent years due to high crime and taxes. Mark Wahlberg, for example, is a devoted family man with a wife and four kids who left the state so that his kids could have a brighter future. He recently opened up on the move: “It’s really giving the kids a chance to thrive,” Wahlberg went on to elaborate: “It just has the best of both worlds. I know a lot of people, when they think Las Vegas, they think the Strip. But just about 15, 20 minutes away, there’s a whole lot of other amazing areas that are all about family and community.”
Being the good dad he is, he did it all for his kids, saying the move was about: “really about giving the kids an opportunity to pursue their goals and dreams.” “My daughter’s an equestrian. My son’s a golfer. My oldest daughter, now she’s off to college. My son’s a junior.”
The Hollywood veteran also sees the potential in Vegas for growth and industry. He talked openly about wanting to create jobs and make Nevada a better place: “There’s lots of opportunity here as well for me. We’re trying to create a studio. We’re trying to build the shoe factory. We want to create lots of jobs here.”
In an interview back in October, Wahlberg spoke more of his reasoning, and his plans for his new home base: “I moved to Nevada where, after this gubernatorial election, hopefully it will go to legislation and get a bill passed so we can get a tax credit for the state — build a state-of-the-art studio here and make this Hollywood 2.0.”
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