- After a fruitless effort to gain approval for a new ballpark the Oakland Athletics appear more likely to move.
- The City of Oakland has been dragging their feet on a much needed new stadium for the MLB team.
- A number of cities are considered relocation candidates with Southern Nevada a clear frontrunner.
The Oakland Athletics have been trying to get the city on board for a new stadium for years–to no avail. That process might now be at the end of the road following the Oakland City Council’s latest counter proposal to the team. The Council voted 6-1 to approve their counter proposal which the team did not like. Although the Athletics responded with some conciliatory language the reality appears to be that today’s vote might have been the ‘last straw’. The team now looks more destined than ever to leave Oakland for Southern Nevada.
You can’t blame the team for a lack of effort at trying to work out a solution that would keep them in Oakland. They’ve been working on getting a new stadium approved for nearly twenty years. Their current facility–where the team has been since 1968–is in decrepit shape and in a less than ideal location. In other words, many of the same issues that prompted the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas might motivate the city’s final major league team to follow them there.
Simply put, the city of Oakland just doesn’t seem to ‘get it’. Their latest counter proposal consisted of a number of amendments that look to be more of a product of pet political agendas than any legitimate effort to work with the team to keep them in the city. The Oakland City Council has weighted the proposal down with a number of items that aren’t germane to the issue–a wish list that includes provisions for affordable housing and ‘anti displacement protections’. The result is that the stadium proposal is a non-starter for the team and looks to be what will have them join the countless businesses and individuals flooding out of California for states that don’t have disdain for the sources of their economic viability.
A’s President Dave Kaval indicated that the current terms were ‘akin to a no vote’ and were not indicative of a business partnership between the city and the team:
“There has been progress in the negotiation. We’ve moved and made concessions, the city’s made concessions, but I think it is important to remember that the current term sheet, even with these amendments, is not something that the A’s have consensus around. It’s not a term sheet that we proposed, with edits that we have come together in mutual agreement, and I just really wanna stress that voting ‘yes’ on something that we don’t agree with, or that we don’t have consensus around, is not an effective path forward. And so I really wanna work with the council to see how we can get something that we agree to voted on before the [summer] recess, as opposed to voting on something that doesn’t work for our side.”
That’s where the situation stands and while there could always be an ‘eleventh hour’ agreement it looks less and less likely. In the meantime, the A’s are making their fourth trip to Las Vegas later this week. Other cities have been mentioned–Portland, Nashville, Vancouver and Montreal–but at this point it looks like the team’s first choice is Southern Nevada.