In just the last few years, the Golden State Warriors moved across the bay to San Francisco, and the Oakland Raiders left for Las Vegas. Now, the Oakland Athletics could be the third of the city's three major sports franchises to depart, if a local A's stadium proposal is not approved.
The A's have played in Oakland since 1968. They spent 1901-54 in their first home city of Philadelphia, before a relatively brief stint in Kansas City from 1955-67. As of this year, they've been in Oakland as long as they were in Philadelphia.
That may change if the city and team can't figure out a new stadium solution. RingCentral Coliseum, originally known as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, may be the stadium in all of major American pro sports in most need of replacement. The stadium has been beset with numerous issues, including multiple instances of leaking sewage into team clubhouses and other areas.
Right now, the waterfront Howard Terminal project is the favorite if the team is to stay in the city. However, in late-April, major Libby Schaaf's office said that the most recent proposal from the team "appears to request public investment at the high end of projects of this type nationwide."
Oakland has resisted subsidizing pro sports stadiums to the same level that other cities, with very questionable benefits in return. Still, it would be hard to see the city lose three major teams in just a few years.
Because of the ongoing issue, and with the A's lease at the Coliseum running up in 2024, Major League Baseball is now supporting the team in looking at possible relocation.
Expansion has been in the air around baseball for a few years, which helps us identify potential new cities for the A's. In 2018, commissioner Rob Manfred cited Charlotte, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Portland as American cities that could fit the bill for expansion, and Montreal and Vancouver as possible solutions in Canada. Montreal lost the Expos, who became the Washington Nationals, back in 2004.
In his ESPN report about the Oakland Athletics' potential move, Jeff Passan cites those six cities as possibilities, with Las Vegas being a favorite thanks to the success of the Raiders and Las Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL.
Hopefully Oakland and the A's can find a way to make a deal that works for all sides, but it is very understandable that the city doesn't want to foot the bill on a stadium for a team owned by a multi-billionaire like John J. Fisher.