Just some quick thoughts and article links for the weekend as we're now just two days from Christmas.
Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle ($) wrote yesterday about how Las Vegas is a Dodgers town. There are some poignant remarks about that fact, including a quote from television personality Jimmy Kimmel, who states "They [Dodgers] are by far the most popular team there, and I think it’s gonna take the A’s a long time to change that.”
I think it's fair to wonder whether the Athletics will change that perception at all. The two teams are both based in California but that's about where the similarities end.
Dodger fans in Vegas shouldn't be quick to adopt the A's as their team, especially considering the behemoth that Andrew Friedman has built in LA. They've just signed arguably the most popular player in the league, as well as another phenom starting pitcher in Yoshinobu Yamamoto, to long-term deals.
The Dodgers are set up to consistently compete for championships for a long time to come. The A's won't have a stadium after the 2024 season ends, nevermind a team full of superstar talent or an ownership group willing to put the best possible product on the field.
If the A's do end up relocating to Vegas, they'll likely struggle to win over the fanbase. An expansion team would likely fare far better than this mockery of a team with Fisher at the helm.
Elsewhere, Melissa Lockard of The Athletic ($) wrote about Fans Fest and the planned opening day boycott at the Coliseum led by the Oakland 68's and Last Dive Bar.
Since the Oakland A's haven't held a fan fest of their own since 2020, the aforementioned groups, along with new Pioneer League squad Oakland Ballers, the Oakland Roots, the Oakland Soul, and multiple Oakland-based businesses will host a block party at Jack London square on Feb 24.
In addition to the Fans Fest event, the 68's and Last Dive Bar are planning a boycott for opening day at the Coliseum on Mar 28. The group raised money and sold a large number of "SELL" flags that will be displayed far and wide at the game that day.
It will likely be the first of several such events hosted by the two groups, as they've been vocal about standing up to John Fisher's attempted relocation in an effort to try to either keep the team in Oakland, or at least make as much noise as possible about it to enlighten uninformed fans of other teams about the plight that is John Fisher. “We’ve got a whole ‘nother season to be obnoxious and do our thing,” Paul Bailey of the Last Dive Bar said.
Lastly, Brodie Brazil spoke on his show, answering a listener question about whether the A's might be able to purchase more land at the Tropicana site in Las Vegas to help accommodate their new ballpark.
Brazil mentioned that the A's would likely be able to purchase more land, albeit at market rate, which is probably in the range of $20 million per acre. He made some good points about how Bally's will want to maximize the amount of space they have, getting foot traffic from the baseball games and moving those people into their restaurants and into the new casino.
Whether or not Fisher and the A's would be willing to pay market rate for additional land in order to fit the stadium onto the property is unknown. Without ballpark renderings, we don't know how big the park will be, how much space it will take up, or whether they can even build it on such a small plot of land.
At the end of the day, we're all still waiting for Fisher and company to reveal their ballpark renderings. Once we get that information, we'll get a much more in-depth look into what the plan is and whether or not it seems feasible. However, we may not get anything more on the topic until after the new year.