Oakland A's owner John Fisher and president Dave Kaval might have yet to seal the move of their franchise to Las Vegas, but they are already trying to make friends in Nevada starting with the NHL's Golden Knights.
The Vegas Golden Knights, which lifted their first Stanley Cup just a few days ago after defeating the Florida Panthers, were congratulated by the A's through a digital billboard outside Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas (and former Oakland) Raiders.
The billboard, as seen on Mick Akers' Tweet above, displayed a message reading "Congratulations Vegas Golden Knights 2023 Stanley Cup Champions," accompanied by the A's logo, a Golden Knights player silhouette, and the Stanley Cup trophy.
Not only is the fact of acquiring such an ad surprising and rather disrespectul to the current Oakland A's faithful for all it entails, but the placement of the A's billboard might be even more shocking.
Former Oakland and current Las Vegas Raiders' owner, Mark Davis, has been a harsh critic of the potential reunion of the two franchises in Nevada, two squads that shared the Coliseum in Oakland when they were still based on California.
Davis expressed criticism, stating that the slogans (namely the infamous "Rooted in Oakland") used by the A's had been disrespectful to the Raiders considering the latter's pursuit of a move away from the town and into Las Vegas.
In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal in April, Davis mentioned, "The slogans they've been using have been a slap to the face of the Raiders, and they were trying to win over that type of mentality in the Bay Area. Well, all they did was f— the Bay Area. For them to leave Oakland without anything is pretty (screwed) up."
Of course, the A's claims to be "rooted" in the Bay turned out to be just a stupid and fake PR stunt as the franchise was trying, in parallel, to find a place to relocate the organization.
That said, it's not that the Raiders had not done the same years ago... The football team already engaged with the Las Vegas hockey team before their own relocation and while still playing football in Oakland, as they quote-tweeted a Golden Knights' graphic with a four-leaf clover emoji on their official Twitter account prior to the Golden Knights' first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Kings in 2018.
There must be something in the Oakland water.
As for the A's, they will have to wait at least four more years before they can move closer to the Golden Knights' neighborhood.
According to an A's spokesperson, the team plans to continue playing at the Coliseum until the end of the 2024 season and expectations are for the Las Vegas strip stadium to take between four and five years to be completed, making it inviable for the franchise to play at their new venue until the 2028 season at the earliest.