The Oakland Athletics may not call the Bay Area home for long. The MLB franchise is seriously considering moving because the organization is unable to build a new ballpark in their current city.
The A’s, who play their home games at the 55-year-old Oakland Coliseum, watch a waterfront ballpark near the city’s Howard Terminal. With the proposed project pending, the team and league are putting pressure on the city to get something done.
“MLB is concerned about the progress of the A-ballpark’s new efforts with local officials and other stakeholders in Oakland,” MLB said in a statement. “The A’s have worked very hard over the past four years building a new ballpark in downtown Oakland. You have invested significant resources and faced several roadblocks at the same time.
“We know they continue to be deeply committed to Oakland success. With two other sports franchises leaving the community recently, their commitment to Oakland is more important than ever.”
The NFL Raiders and NBA Warriors have left Oakland in recent years. The Golden State Warriors moved to San Francisco while the Raiders completely left the state and settled in Las Vegas.
Where could the A’s move? MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has named certain cities as locations for the league’s potential expansion. Obviously, these places could potentially become options for the A.
“Portland, Las Vegas, Charlotte, Nashville in the US, certainly Montreal, maybe Vancouver in Canada,” Manfred said in an interview on FS1 in 2018. “We believe there are places in Mexico where we are in the long run could be on the way. “
A statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/Ujzll7cMWF
– Oakland A’s (@Athletics) May 11, 2021
From a geographic perspective, Portland and Las Vegas make sense. It would allow MLB to keep the A’s in AL West and the team wouldn’t stray too far from their fan base.
The Raiders haven’t hosted a game with fans because of the pandemic, but the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights have been a huge hit since they became an expanding NHL team in 2017. With MLB now including sports betting, the next logical step could be to start a baseball team in the nation’s gaming capital.
A move to Vancouver would also keep the A in the Pacific time zone, which would potentially make it a move that MLB would support.
Nashville is often mentioned as a new city that a professional baseball team could support. It has proven to be a good sports city and supports the NFL’s titans and predators in the NHL. Music City is home to only two of the four major professional team sports and could include the A’s.
Not far from Nashville, Charlotte MLB offers a similar chance to enter a growing city.
“Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities without Major League Baseball,” Rick Curti, founder of a grassroots campaign working to bring baseball to the city, told The Athletic earlier this year. “They are looking for markets where there is growth, and Charlotte fits that profile into a T.”
Montreal is still an option for another MLB team after losing the Expos to similar stadium problems. The Tampa Bay Rays are still considering plans to play some of their home games in the Canadian city.
No MLB franchise has moved since the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005. The athletics played in Philadelphia and Kansas City before settling in Oakland.
The A’s have been in Oakland since 1968. The franchise has won three world championships in its current home.
“We have a fully funded waterfront plan that we think is really great and that has a great vision. At the same time, we will be exploring other markets and speaking to other communities, ”Dave Kaval, President of A, told MLB.com.
“We need to have options and head in the direction of Major League Baseball to make sure we really improve the franchise’s viability for another generation.”