MLB issued a statement on Tuesday in which they recalled that they have long feared that the current stadium, the RingCentral Coliseum, will
is no longer a viable option for the future of baseball.
We are concerned about the progress of the file of the new stadium of the A’s with local authorities and other stakeholders in this file, said the MLB. The A’s have worked hard to move this downtown stadium project forward over the past four seasons, investing multiple resources in it while overcoming many obstacles. We know they are determined to continue the adventure in Oakland for the long haul. With two professional sports franchises having left town, their commitment to Oakland is more important than ever.
Athletics president Dave Kaval is still hoping to come to an agreement for a new stadium, but time is running out.
We will immediately start working [avec la MLB] on finding new markets and we’re going to work with those markets to find the one that makes the most sense, Kaval told The Associated Press. We need to explore all of our options. People know we have a hard time keeping the lights on at the Coliseum.
The A’s have previously proposed and withdrawn stadium projects in Freemont and San José. In November 2018, the A’s announced they had found a waterfront site for their stadium, overlooking San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and Oakland Harbor. The goal was to play their first games there in 2023. But even if it was approved this summer, it wouldn’t be ready until 2027.
We fervently hope that our exciting, privately funded stadium project is passed by Oakland City Council, Kaval added. I think improving this part of the city is the kind of project that only happens once in a generation. We still hope that this project, which we will not abandon, will be approved, but we must be realistic and aware of the deadlines.
Earlier this year, Kaval asked city council to vote on the stadium project before work is adjourned for the summer. The project, worth US $ 12 billion from private investment, includes the stadium and major community development, with benefits of US $ 450 million for the community.
The team’s lease ends in 2024, but the aging stadium, occupied since the A’s arrived in 1968, is struggling with lighting and sewer backups.
A’s owner John Fisher said in a separate statement he will follow MLB instructions but still want to build a stadium at the Howard Terminal port site, close to the very popular Jack London area. Square.
A’s future success hinges on a new stage, he said. Oakland is a great baseball city and we will continue to work on our bay front stadium project. But we’re also going to follow Major League Baseball’s instructions and look for other markets.
The A’s hope that the league’s intervention will move the issue.
We share MLB’s sense of urgency and their preference for Oakland, said Mayor Libby Schaaf.
The announcement of major league baseball is already generating a lot of talk. Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas said on Twitter that
City Council is determined to keep the A’s in Oakland and is awaiting a response from the organization to schedule a meeting before the summer.
It makes people talk elsewhere. The representative to the United States Congress for the 1st District of Nevada, Republican Dana Titus, tweeted that
Las Vegas has become a premier city for sports. We’re more than ready for a major league baseball team.
In the past, Commissioner Rob Manfred had established Las Vegas, Charlotte, Portland (Oregon), Nashville, Vancouver and Montreal as cities for possible expansion. He said, however, that he would not maintain this project until the issues of the Oakland and Tampa Bay stadiums are resolved.
Montreal is already piloting a file with the Tampa Bay Rays for a sister city project for shared custody of the Rays in which the two cities should build new stadiums. The requests for comment sent by The Canadian Press to the Montreal Baseball Group had not been answered by the end of the afternoon.
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg presented a stadium project in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, but abandoned the project in December 2018. The MLB executive board gave permission to the Rays to explore the joint project with Montreal in June 2019.
The Rays’ lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg expires at the conclusion of the 2027 season.
The Athletics have moved twice since the franchise was founded in Philadelphia in 1901. It moved to Kansas City in preparation for the 1955 season, before moving to Oakland in 1968.
The proposed stadium would be approximately 10 km from the Coliseum, in a location not served by public transport. The A’s and the City of Oakland have talked about setting up a network of gondolas that would leave the neighborhood, pass over Highway 880 to finish their run downtown.
Only two MLB clubs have moved in the past 50 years. The Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers in 1972. Then the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
The Braves also moved twice, moving from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953, then to Atlanta in 1966.
There was a whole series of changes in the 1950s and 1960s. The Saint Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles in 1954. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958. The New York Giants followed around. San Francisco the same year and the first iteration of the Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. As for the Seattle Pilots, they moved to Milwaukee to become the Brewers in 1970.