Rob Manfred Says Athletics Are Focusing On Las Vegas Move
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher is focusing on moving the team to Las Vegas instead of securing another stadium in California. As one of the smallest markets in baseball, the Athletics have struggled to raise funds in recent years and could follow the Raiders in a potential relocation.
“Look, I think the best way for me to answer that is to say I think that the focus since I spoke to you in December really has been on Las Vegas,” Manfred told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The city (Oakland) has been really caught up in trying to work their way through these funding issues that I’m sure you’ve read about. But I’ve talked to John Fisher on a regular basis both about what’s going on in Oakland and about what’s going on in Las Vegas.”
The Oakland Athletics might build a $1 billion ballpark on the land where the Rio sits, according to the Review-Journalpic.twitter.com/whS4LoXIUe
— Las Vegas Locally 🌴 (@LasVegasLocally) February 16, 2023
Negotiations between the city of Oakland and the Athletics have appeared strained for some time now, as poor attendance and a meager fundraising effort have stalled conversations about a new stadium. The city also lost a $180 million grant from the Department of Transportation that would have gone toward improving infrastructure and loosened the budget for the A’s.
Similarly, unsuccessful talks in 2019 between the city and the Raiders led the NFL team to move to Las Vegas, and it seems that the Athletics could take similar action.
Since 1968, the Athletics have played at the Oakland Coliseum, which has only received two renovations in its 54-year existence. It is generally agreed that the team needs a new stadium, and for some time, the team was splitting its efforts between working with the city of Oakland and considering options in Las Vegas. It now appears that the organization is favoring the latter option.
In the 2022 season, the Athletics had the worst average attendance numbers in the league, with just 9,973 fans attending a typical home game at the Coliseum, which can seat nearly 60,000 at capacity.
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