The Oakland Athletics' potential relocation plans in Major League Baseball will require collaboration with the league and approval from the players' union, as reported by Bill Shaikin of Los Angeles Times on Saturday, July 8.
With their current lease of the Oakland Coliseum running through 2024 and the current timeline for the construction of a new stadium in the Las Vegas Strip pointing toward a 2028 finalization, the A's will need to find a ballpark to play at in 2025, 2026, and (most probably) 2027.
The MLB Players' Union doesn't have enough power to make the ultimate and final decision on where the A's major league team will be playing baseball in that span, but they are expected to become a crucial part in the discussions and negotiations between the Athletics and their prospective hosts ahead of deciding when they play in the aforementioned seasons.
One of the most prominent and viable options is for the A's to straight relocate to Las Vegas to play at their Triple-A LV Aviators' ballpark, with a capacity exceeding 10,000. That's already more than the A's are averaging at the Oakland Coliseum, and the minor league ballpark is in fact one of the best in across the American landscape in terms of the quality of the facilities already in place.
Other alternatives include playing at other places such as Sacramento or extending the current lease to keep playing inside the Oakland Coliseum. Those are wildly diverging options in terms of what those avenues offer and how they'd need to be adapted.
The main topics of discussion could include different issues impacting the health of players and their playing in actual, professionalized fields instead of your run-of-the-mill ballpark. That includes the playing field, the grass, the working conditions of the players and the staffers, how the team would need to adapt their trips and travels, how families of those involved with the A's are affected, etc...
Although one of the points raised against Las Vegas minor-league ballpark option is the torrid heat endured by the region through the summer, that's proved to be a rather nonsensical point to make against the venue, considering it just sold out a Triple-A game played under the hottest heat ever registeredwithout nobody complaining.
MLB Players' Union chief Tony Clark emphasized the importance of "meeting the required standards for player safety and performance," mainly a proper playing surface whether that's artificial or natural grass.
All the above, though, still depends on a long process to be completed before the A's can finalize their move to Las Vegas.
Although Nevada has done all it could to help the A's complete the move to Las Vegas, the truth is that the Oakland Athletics still have to clear some hurdles on their way to sign on the dotted line for the final move away from the Bay area, including multiple votes and the approval from at least a three-quarters of the other 29 MLB franchises.