On May 16th episode of MLB Daily, we discussed the ongoing story with the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball recommending that they leave Oakland if the city doesn’t agree to build a new stadium. Is it possible that the Athletics are leaving Oakland?
Here we go again. It feels like every other year that we discuss this ongoing feud. The A’s have wanted to leave the Oakland Coliseum for quite some time yet lacked the leverage to get out of the situation. It’s like when a teenage girl always complains about her dirtbag boyfriend but never breaks up with him. What’s the difference between now and before? Well, the MLB appears to be fully behind the team now. It’s the scenario where the girl’s mom speaks up and says, “Honey, he’s no good for you.”
Where Will the Athletics Wind Up?
Mark my words; the A’s will be in Oakland at least through 2030.LJ VP LaFiura on MLB Daily
This seems like a simple and safe answer but the Oakland Athletics will continue to be the Oakland Athletics for quite some time. It makes the most sense for both the team and the city for them to stay put.
The A’s have always been a financially savvy organization, especially since Billy Beane began his analytically driven “Moneyball”. They know too well that relocating a franchise can cost upwards of half a billion dollars when all is said and done. Even if the team has to pitch in some money towards a new stadium, it will still end up cheaper than relocation.
As for the city of Oakland, what else is left in Oakland if they don’t have the A’s? The Raiders and Warriors have both bailed on the city in favor of new stadiums in Las Vegas and San Francisco respectively. With the consistently negative reviews of the city, I have heard from most baseball fans the A’s are one of the remaining respectable things in Oakland on the national stage. The city will cave sooner rather than later because Oakland needs the Athletics more than they’re willing to admit.
Where Could the Athletics Go?
Here’s some spots that the A’s could land in order of least to most likely.
Buffalo: There are two knocks on this location that largely take Buffalo out of the running. The first is that Buffalo is probably the smallest market on this list, and yet they consistently have some of the most passionate fanbases in sports. Besides that, you have the issue of divisions and travel. Moving the franchise this far east would make redoing the divisions difficult at best. Despite this, there is precedent for this. Buffalo was a finalist for the 1991 expansion and was willing enough to undergo the construction of a ballpark before a decision was made.
Vancouver: There’s nothing besides the distance of travel that makes this a bad idea. The only reason they are so low on this list is that Vancouver hasn’t been thrown around much.
Memphis/Nashville: No. A group began the legwork to bring a franchise to Memphis a year or two ago. This would not be a smart idea for the Athletics brass to go to Tennessee. The Atlanta Braves are one of the biggest names in baseball. Settled in the middle of baseball’s biggest fanbase, the southeast, they’ve been the only team for decades. The popularity of the Braves will make it so that any franchise entering the region fails to get the support they anticipate. It’s over Oakland; Atlanta has the high ground.
Portland: The perfect fit. The fanbase in Portland has treated the Trailblazers and Timbers amazing and their players even better. What’s better, Portland is the closest major city without a team, so the travel won’t be a big change for the league, and they can keep more of their current fanbase from the clutches of the Giants.
Las Vegas: If the Athletics leave the multipurpose stadium they currently use, they will most likely join their former stadium buddy, the Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas has been great to both the NFL’s Raiders and the NHL’s Golden Knights, so why not baseball?
At this point, the fate of the A’s depends on vocal fans. If you are worried about the Athletics leaving Oakland, then be an Athletics supporter.