Earlier this season, reports shared that the Oakland Athletics are exploring the possibility of moving out of the Bay Area city and to a new destination. After continued failures to finalize plans for a new stadium, the organization may be packing up shop and looking to play elsewhere.
Major League Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed as much during a Q&A session with members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday morning ahead of the All-Star Game. He stated that the process of keeping the A’s in place is “at the end”, stating that “this is the decision point for Oakland as to whether they wanna have Major League Baseball moving forward.”
Manfred continued by sharing that Las Vegas remains a legitimate option for relocation. He called any notion that the league was bluffing about Vegas as an alternative “a mistake.”
“Las Vegas is a viable alternative for a major league club, and there are other viable alternatives that I haven’t turned the A’s loose to even explore at this point,” Manfred said, via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.
Manfred maintained that A’s managing partner John Fisher “has done everything I’ve asked him to in terms of trying to keep the A’s in Oakland, and more than I’ve asked him to do in terms of financial commitments.”
“So we’re gonna know one way or the other what’s gonna happen in Oakland in the next couple months,” Manfred added. “If you can’t get a ballpark, I think the relocation process, whether it’s Las Vegas or a broader array of cities that get considered, is gonna take on more pace.”
Rob Manfred says the future of baseball in Oakland will be determined in the near future.
He says Las Vegas is a viable alternative for a Major League club like the Athletics. pic.twitter.com/8j8OvlaOmL
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 13, 2021
The A’s have played at the Coliseum in Oakland since 1968, but the organization and MLB have deemed the sight “a non-viable option.” If the Athletics want to continue to play in the Bay Area, a new waterfront ballpark would need to be built in downtown Oakland at the Howard Terminal site.
The Oakland City Council is expected to review that specific proposal next week, on July 20. At that point, we’ll get a clearer picture if the Athletics will stay in place or need to find a relocation destination.
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