Yet another major pro sports franchise will be exiting the Bay Area for the sparkling lights of Sin City soon. MLB’s Athletics, after years of playing in woeful Oakland Coliseum, will be making a move to Las Vegas by 2025 or sooner.
Ironically, Vegas has been a destination for an Oakland franchise before – and rather recently, no less. The Raiders announced a move to the desert immediately following the 2019 season. Up to that point, the two teams had a dual residency at the coliseum, making the White Elephants the last remaining MLB club to share a stadium full-time with an NFL franchise.
For the Athletics, it will be the fourth home city in their long and storied history, following tenures in Philadelphia, and Kansas City, they moved to Oakland in 1968. As a franchise, they’ve won nine World Series Championships in their long and storied history: five in Philly, and four in Oaktown — with the last one produced by the Bash Brothers in 1989.
However, the A’s have been mired in mediocrity and playing in a stadium that’s been falling apart for years. Multiple issues like flooding in the dugouts and locker rooms, an inordinate amount of vermin around the ballpark, and incessant lighting problems are just a few of the mounting concerns regarding the building. It’s gotten to the point that player safety was starting to become a concern, due to faulty wiring and plumbing.
In essence, the once beautiful and brilliant modern-day facility had become the slums of Major League Baseball.
After years of in-house improvements like club seating, and negotiations with the city for a new stadium, the Athletics had finally had enough. They began exploring the possibility of a move to Las Vegas as far back as 2021. Everything finally fell into place this month.
Starting in 2027, the team will play in a new 35,000-seat retractable stadium near T-Mobile Arena just off the Vegas Strip, after reaching an agreement with Red Rock Resorts to purchase and develop the land. The project is also receiving the backing of the state of Nevada and Major League Baseball.
In the meantime, they have reached an agreement with the minor-league Aviators to play at Las Vegas Ballpark for the 2026 season. But they may arrive at their ultimate destination much sooner. The current lease with Oakland Coliseum doesn’t expire until 2025, but the club’s management is reportedly exploring their options of moving as soon as the conclusion of this season.
While somewhat expected, the news still stunned fans in Oakland. Mayor Sheng Thao issued a statement that discussed where things drifted apart between the two sides.
“I am deeply disappointed that the A’s have chosen not to negotiate with the City of Oakland as a true partner, in a way that respects the long relationship between the fans, the City, and the team,” Thao said in a statement given to ESPN. “Yet, it is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game — the fans and our residents deserve better.”