On Tuesday, the Oakland Athletics organization announced they will start exploring the possibility of leaving the city they’ve called home since 1968. The deciding factor in the move will rest on whether or not local politicians approve the franchises’ longtime pitch for a new waterfront stadium project.
According to an official statement from the A’s released on Twitter, the franchise and the MLB have become increasingly concerned with the lack of progress on stadium plans that have been in the works for four years now. The organization also asked the town council to vote on the proposed $12 billion project weeks ago and there’s been no progress on that front either, per ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan.
A statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/Ujzll7cMWF
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 11, 2021
If action isn’t taken soon, the relocation process could very well begin.
“The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark,” A’s owner John Fisher said in an official statement. “Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB’s direction to explore other markets.”
So, if the A’s are heading out of Oakland — where will they go next?
According to the official odds shared by WDRB Sports Louisville reporter Rick Bozich, the longtime Oakland franchise are most likely headed to either Las Vegas (+150) or Montreal (+250).
Who (other than me) wants American League baseball in Louisville?
— rickbozich (@rickbozich) May 11, 2021
If the A’s make their way down to Nevada, that move will mark the second Oakland team lost to Vegas in recent years. Just this past season in 2020, the former NFL Oakland Raiders became the Las Vegas Raiders. Oakland also recently lost the Golden State Warriors when the team elected to move from Oracle Arena to the San Francisco Bay Chase Center in 2019.
As a booming sports city, Las Vegas is a top landing spot for any professional franchise looking for a new home.
Montreal has also been included in potential move discussions as a result of the city’s ongoing conversations with the Tamp Bay Rays, who are in the midst of some stadium issues of their own. After the Expos left Montreal to head to Washington back in 2004, the city has been a popular potential landing spot for prospective teams.
If Oakland town officials don’t take action soon, the city could lose its final remaining professional franchise.