There has been another Major League Baseball team linked to a city looking to give them a new home. After being connected to the Arizona Diamondbacks over the summer, now the city of Las Vegas is rumored to be the future home of the team that plays their Triple-A games just off The Strip, the Oakland A’s.
The Oakland A’s are trying to purchase one half of their current home, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum from the county; while the local government is fighting the deal. During recent meetings with Major League Baseball, Commissioner Rob Manfred had some choice words for local officials. “The commissioner pointed out that Bay Area fans will soon be going to Las Vegas to see the Raiders and that unless things changed, Bay Area fans may be going to Las Vegas or elsewhere to see the A’s as well,” this, according to Oakland City Council Member Larry Reid.
The Las Vegas Aviators just opened a new stadium in their hometown and lead all of Minor League Baseball in attendance, drawing 9,266 fans a game, nearly half of what their parents team, the Oakland A’s drew during this season. This is one of the reasons why Rob Manfred mentioned Las Vegas during his conversations with local officials in the East Bay.
If teams are unhappy with their current situation in any city, they should be allowed to look for and, if possible, find a better hometown, provided they are not breaking any written agreements. If Oakland can’t afford to maintain the stadium where the A’s play, but won’t sell the stadium to the team, then what else does the city expect them to do besides look for a new home. For as much as I want to be upset with the A’s, they don’t have a better option right now unless they can get permission to find a new home in the Bay Area. And the fact that Major League Baseball is involved in the negotiates means that the Oakland A’s will have a new home one way or another very soon.
The only question that remains to be seen is how badly does Oakland want to keep the A’s and how badly does Las Vegas want them to move there; because at the end if this game, the people willing to do more will have a team, while the other city won’t. And like Ron Manfred said, Raiders fans are already planning their future football weekends in Las Vegas … will A’s fans too?