Oakland Athletics rumored to remove Rooted in Oakland sign

The Oakland Athletics are rumored to take down, or paint over, the Rooted in Oakland sign that adorns the west end of the Coliseum. A fitting move for a franchise that's headed for it's fourth home in franchise history.
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

According to a report from Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle ($), the Oakland Athletics plan to remove the “Rooted in Oakland” sign that hangs above the west entrance to the Coliseum.

What began as a hollow advertising campaign back in 2017 has turned into an open joke amongst Athletics fans everywhere.

Owner John Fisher and team president Dave Kaval have long awaited their move out of the Bay area. In early 2023, they got access to a plot of land in Las Vegas and forged ahead with no regard to the Athletics' fanbase or the Oakland community.

The Coliseum site is badly in need of repairs. The stadium has been openly mocked by fans of the other 29 teams, and players have suffered through many seasons playing in a stadium that isn’t up to the standard of what a major league stadium should be.

Rather than attempt to fix the Coliseum or make a deal with the city of Oakland, one with reportedly more public money in a better television market, Fisher has chosen to leave town and make a joke of himself on the way out.

It’s deeply unfortunate to watch this once heralded franchise become the laughingstock of the league. Oakland is an exceptionally diverse, strong community that’s been as good a host as a team could ask for.

The Warriors and the Raiders left town for greener pastures, largely due to Fisher’s refusal to build a new stadium and squatting on the rights to the Coliseum site. The A’s are leaving for a worse market with lower expected television revenue and questionable methods for filling the stands.

Rooted in Oakland, maybe

Maybe “Rooted in Oakland” was always a joke. After all, the A’s have moved through three cities during their professional tenure. The franchise started in Philadelphia back in 1901 and played there until 1954.

The team was then moved to Kansas City, where it spent 11 years before being moved once more, this time to Oakland. After 55 years in the Bay Area, it’s apparently time to pack up and move again.

So maybe the Athletics’ aren’t rooted anywhere. Ostler jokes that the Athletics are “rooted in sand”, and he’s right, in a sense. A’s fans feel that the team belongs in Oakland, which is surely how fans in Philly felt back in the 1950’s.

Maybe 30 years from now, when the Las Vegas A’s need a new ballpark and a decrepit John Fisher still refuses to invest in the product on the field, fans will be joking about the “Rooted in Las Vegas” sign that’s due to be painted over. Only time will tell.