Oakland fights to keep A’s, tells MLB: ‘We have a roadmap to get this done.’
on November 9, 2023
At a news conference at City Hall on Tuesday, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao called on Major League Baseball to reject the Oakland A’s request to build a new stadium in Las Vegas.
Thao said the city is ready to work with the team to build a stadium in Oakland.
“We have a roadmap to get this done. Las Vegas is just getting started,” Thao said.
MLB is expected to vote on the A’s relocation request later this month.
The City Council Chambers was packed with A’s fans wearing green and gold to show their support for the team. After the press conference, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution that reaffirmed their commitment to keeping the team in Oakland.
The A’s have supported the Howard Terminal Project, which would develop a new multipurpose, 35,000-person-capacity MLB stadium in Jack London Square.
Prior to the vote, Thao outlined the steps the city had taken to get to a deal for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal, including securing $428 million in off-site infrastructure funding and defending the environmental review of the project in court.
Thao said the city would be open to working with A’s owner John Fisher or whoever is interested in purchasing the A’s. Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob expressed interest in buying the team as recently as October, according to Sports Illustrated.
Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, who authored the resolution, said the city is ready to make a deal.
“We are here to stand united to make clear that Oakland doesn’t back down. And that Oakland had a deal, and that Oakland has a deal,” Kaplan said.
Another focus of Thao’s press conference was the impact on jobs if the A’s relocate.
“If John Fisher turns his back on our jobs, on the hardworking folks of the Oakland Coliseum, on our town, on our Black and brown workers, that’s his misguided choice. But MLB should not follow, ” said Keith Brown, executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda Labor Council, adding that MLB should honor its commitment to diversity.
Daniel Joseph Pagan, 70, who grew up in Fremont and lives in Hayward, attended the press conference wearing a T-shirt with the slogan: “Sell the team Fisher” with a middle finger replacing the “i” in Fisher.
Pagan attended his first A’s game with his parents in 1968 and has been a loyal fan ever since. He attended the A’s playoff games in 1972, 1973, 1974. He took his wife on their first date to a game. Pagan said he wants MLB owners to vote no on the A’s relocation bid and wants Fisher to sell the team.
If the A’s leave, Pagan said he will not continue to support them.
“We’ve gone through five owners, and who has remained? The fans have remained,” Pagan said. “They may own the team, but it doesn’t belong to them.”
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