Oakland Athletics might as well pack for a possible Las Vegas move

Now it looks like it’s only a matter of time before Oakland Athletics moves to Las Vegas.

Oakland City Council met on Tuesday to discuss the team’s plans to build a new baseball stadium in Howard Terminal. While the vote appears to be a victory for Athletics’ potential to stay in Oakland, the reality is that the franchise still appears to have reservations about the list of conditions signed on Tuesday.

Oakland Athletics desperately need to get out of Oakland Coliseum

The Athletics have played at Oakland Coliseum, also known as RingCentral Coliseum, for over 50 years. The site has hosted some of the best teams in A’s history. It has also become somewhat of an ancient relic.

There are other reasons the A’s want a new stadium. Part of it has to do with the finances of the team. The club has always been one of the lowest spenders in the sport, consistently carrying one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. After all, it was the franchise that was the subject of the blockbuster film. Silver ball.

Athletics president Dave Kaval said last month that the payroll would not be an issue if the city approved a new stadium.

“We can go from one of the five lowest payrolls in the league to the top five or 10, depending on the year,” Kaval told the Mercury News in June. “This will be such a remarkable change in our company and I think with the business acumen and business acumen of (Executive Vice President) Billy Beane and (General Manager) David Forst, giving them this type of resource is going to be amazing and that’s what we strive to do.

Oakland has managed to excel in recent seasons despite lacking sufficient funds to sign big free agents or make massive trades. Athletics won 97 games in 2018 and 2019 before winning AL West in 2020. They entered the action on Tuesday at 54-42, well in the AL Wild Card picture.

However, success on the pitch has looked pale compared to the franchise’s future, especially with some relocation still possible.

Oakland City Council passed conditions sheet, but it means next to nothing

The decision by Oakland City Council to adopt the list of conditions for the waterside baseball stadium would look good to fans hoping the team will stay in Oakland. However, it is more complicated than that.

The Oakland City Council vote was for the term with specific changes made by the city. Kaval and the A’s disagree with these amendments, making it difficult for the team to agree to the city plan.

Alden González ESPN noted that Kaval said yesterday that voting on a modified plan designed by the city is akin to a “no” vote. Things don’t seem to be going well, especially with board member Carol Fife saying there isn’t really a specific way to negotiate further.

Interestingly, some of the public comments made just before the scheduled vote put the blame on the A’s.

The situation has become frustrating, apparently for all parties involved.

While the As’s continue to excel on the pitch, their relationships off the pitch and the tight deadline for building a new park have led to conflict. It may not be long before the fate of baseball in Oakland is decided.

Moving to Las Vegas might be the best option for athletics

President of A, Dave Kaval, has a choice to make | Jason O. Watson / Getty Images

Longtime Oakland Athletics fans will certainly be disappointed if the team makes a move. It would be a disappointment for local businesses and workers.

Still, it’s probably best if the A’s start making relocation plans to follow the Raiders to Las Vegas.

The reality is that athletics have made plans for a new stadium on several occasions. These plans were scrapped every time, in part because the city hasn’t really budged. Major League Baseball supported Athletics’ desire to explore relocation options, so Kaval and Co. could really have all the influence.

Las Vegas briefly hosted the A’s during the stadium’s renovation in 1996, so there’s a story there. Jeff Passan also viewed Sin City as the most likely destination if the As’s track their relocation.

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