The Oakland Athletics have confirmed their intention to remain in Oakland and continue playing at the Oakland Coliseum until the end of the 2024 season when their lease of the venue will finally run out. Talk about a bold move.
The A's are nothing but gone from Oakland and on their way to Las Vegas after Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo signed the bill for the construction of a new stadium--the eventual home of a Major League Baseball club--in the Las Vegas Strip. The only problem is, the A's will have to wait until 2028 to hit the ground in NV while not having a deal in place related to any stadium for the span covering the 2025, 2026, and 2027 seasons.
Once their lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires on Dec. 31, 2024, the A's will need to find a temporary home until their new ballpark in Las Vegas is ready, because there is no way the city of Oakland will ever reach a deal to keep the A's around for a couple of years knowing they completely cold-shouldered the town, let alone having a move to Las Vegas already scheduled.
Reports emerging on Friday talked about the A's organization already "actively working with MLB officials" to identify the most suitable location for their temporary stadium, whether that's in Oakland, the state of California, or in a completely different place.
A spokesperson for the A's, though, confirmed late Friday that the team plans to play the entire 2024 season at the Coliseum, ensuring they remain in the Bay Area until the conclusion of next year.
If you think this season's attendance is bad, wait for next year when everybody will be well aware of the future of the franchise outside of Oakland... and when nobody will invest in an organization that will bolt away sooner than later. It'd probably be cool for the A's if they actually hit some 4,000-filled seats on a per-game basis next season. Yes, it's going to be ugly.
The A's are considering alternative venues in Las Vegas, Reno, Sacramento, and San Francisco
Potential markets under consideration by the A's to use for the 2025-27 span include Las Vegas, Reno, Sacramento, and other locations within the Bay Area such as a timeshare of the San Francisco Giants' Oracle Park.
Las Vegas Ballpark, with a 10,000-seat capacity and proximity to the Las Vegas Strip, has been mentioned as a possible temporary home for the A's during their transition. The stadium is currently the home of the A's Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas Aviators. The Howard Hughes Corp., which owns the affiliate and stadium, has already reached an agreement with the A's to potentially accommodate the team.
In April, Las Vegas Aviators President Don Logan revealed that preliminary work had begun to determine the modifications necessary to make Las Vegas Ballpark a viable option for both the A's and the Aviators to share. This includes estimating the cost of converting the natural grass field to artificial turf, which would be required if both teams were to play there.
Even then, a huge backlash from the MLB Player Association is expected because absolutely nobody, from players to coaching staff to all other members of the on-field crew (both on the A's and visiting organizations) will ever accept or be willing to play and use minor-league facilities.
While the A's have expressed their desire to play some games in Nevada before moving into their new stadium, they are currently unable to commit to such a plan due to pending negotiations with said MLBPA. Once these matters are resolved, the team will have a clearer picture of their schedule in Nevada before their permanent relocation to Las Vegas but don't count on an easy resolution.
For now, the A's will play in Oakland. One-and-a-half final years of East Bay ball await. It'll be crickets after that spell.