The relocation ball is finally rolling for real, folks. On Wednesday, Aug. 23, A's owner John Fisher confirmed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an interview that the franchise has submitted their application for relocating the team to Las Vegas in time for the 2028 MLB season.
The next step in the process is for the league, the commissioner, and the other 29 ballclubs to review the application, then vote on it in order to clear the A's way to become the latest major-league franchise to set camp in Sin City following the Las Vegas Raiders and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Fisher also said that being "under pressure" by fans of the A's rooted in Oakland didn't really make him think about selling the team at any point in time, saying "I have not considered selling the team," and revealing that since 2005 (when he became owner of the A's) "[the] goal has been to find a new home and build a new home for [the] team."
John Fisher thinks Las Vegas can provide the winning environment Oakland can't, has set the goal of winning the World Series in six years
According to Fisher, the move to Las Vegas will allow the A's to finally compete for titles, something the franchise wouldn't be able to do in Oakland. "I got into this sport because I want to win, and building a new ballpark in Vegas and having it be tremendously successful is going to help us achieve that goal."
Fisher not only wants to have "a competitive team," but "a team that can have the kind of success, for example, that the Golden Knights have had, winning the Stanley Cup in six years.” The A's owner followed that up by saying "If we can win the World Series within our first six years, that would be an incredible goal to have."
When it comes to building a New A's core that can win pennants, Fisher said that the franchise will aim at creating a team "made up of players, some of them young, having come up through our system with the [Las Vegas] Aviators," as well as free agents acquired by spending more money in salaries and increasing the team's payroll.
The relocation committee named by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will review the application and then the 30 franchises of the MLB will vote on the relocation to pass or deny it. A 75% vote in favor would suffice for the move to get ratified and the A's to wave goodbye to the East Bay once and for all.
“My hope is that [the relocation process and voting] will get accomplished sometime soon,” Fisher said, “but I don’t want to put a timeline on that."
Fisher revealed that the A's have "spent $100 million and six years on our Oakland ballpark project," blaming the relocation on the current A's city inoperance and steady rejections of the franchise proposals.
"We're sad for what this represents for Oakland," Fisher told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "The reality is we did not have a deal in Oakland," he continued, adding that the A's "will be the third professional sports team to leave the Coliseum site."