27K Oakland A's Fans Stage Reverse Boycott | ABC7

On Tuesday night, fans of the Oakland Athletics sent a crystal clear message to the ownership group currently planning to move the team to Las Vegas: You can go… but the team needs to stay.

Oakland A’s fans showing up to urge sale via ABC7 News Bay Area YouTube

At least, that’s what about 27,000 strong were hoping to convey when they staged what is being described as a ‘reverse boycott’ at The Coliseum. And their protest was broadcast far beyond the Bay Area, as it caught fire on social media in real-time. The story was trending on Twitter and live look-ins were taking place as a very unique moment was taking place.

With many in the crowd sporting t-shirts that simply said “SELL”, their organized demonstration was aimed at owner John Fisher’s decision to move the club to Las Vegas. They wanted to display their continued loyalty to the White Elephants, despite the stark reality that the team and Oakland city officials can’t seem to make nice.

On April 20, 2023, Team President Dave Kaval announced that the team finalized a deal to buy the 49-acre site where the A’s plan to build the stadium close to the Las Vegas Strip with a seating capacity of 30,000 to 35,000.

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“We have a path in Las Vegas that can put the franchise on solid footing,” Kaval said.

Starting in 2027, the team will begin play in their new retractable facility near T-Mobile Arena, 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 will be hosted by the Triple-A Stadium in Sin City.

While there have been a few snags and some possible added expense, it looks as if everything will move forward, with the A’s joining another former Oakland team, the Raiders, in the desert soon.

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And while Tuesday’s stunt by the city’s faithful will do nothing to stop that inevitable transition, their showing was definitely noteworthy. It shows how much the local population still supports the team, despite the resistance of city officials to forge a deal with the franchise.

Mayor Sheng Thao issued a statement when the franchise announced its decision to relocate.

“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 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.”

The stadium issue finally came to a head after what seems like three decades of back-and-forth discussions between the organization and municipal leaders. Oakland Coliseum is incredibly outdated, oversized, and likely even unsafe.

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 health was starting to become a concern, due to faulty wiring and plumbing.

With the facility crumbling and no answer in sight in Oaktown, it’s all but over for big-time baseball there. Now sadly, no matter what tactics the fans employ to display their dissatisfaction, there’s no way to ‘reverse’ the A’s eventual departure now.

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