On the night Oakland Athletics fans performed a “reverse boycott” at Oakland Coliseum to express their desire for new ownership, the organization received word that Nevada Senate passed a $380 million bill to help fund a new stadium for the team in Las Vegas.
A’s fans don’t want the team to leave the Bay Area. They want current owner John Fisher, who employs the lowest payroll in MLB at just under $60 million, to give ownership to someone who wants to pump money into Oakland.
However, Fisher and the organization appear set on relocating the team, and their Las Vegas plan now has their first step in place.
The bill, according to ESPN, received two key amendments following questions from Nevada lawmakers who questioned using tax dollars for Fisher’s relocation dream, which ultimately led to a 13-8 vote in favor of the stadium being built.
Now, a 42-person assembly will need to vote to approve it and Gov. Joe Lombardo can sign the bill into law. ESPN added that Lombardo has been a proponent of adding a Las Vegas MLB team to go along with the NFL’s Raiders and NHL’s Golden Knights, who are on the verge of the city’s first league title.
However, fans are still imploring the A’s, who have been in the Bay since 1968 after starting in Philadelphia in 1901 before moving to Kansas City in 1955, not to leave Oakland.
The A’s are dead last in MLB attendance and it’s not even close with 8,555 averaged per game. But that wasn’t the case when fans rallied together for the reverse boycott on Tuesday for a game against the Tampa Bay Rays with a message: Sell the team.
That was the exact chant bursting outside the Coliseum before first pitch tonight. They were also chanting “Stay in Oakland!”
Since losing in the ALDS during the shortened 2020 campaign, the A’s have been on a rollercoaster drop that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. They went 86-76 in 2021, which was the final year under Bob Melvin after he spent a decade as the team’s manager.
Mark Kotsay took over his spot, and it’s been even worse as the team’s payroll matched the wins and losses at the end of the season. The A’s went 60-102 last season, the worst record in the American League, and with bonuses and benefits included, their payroll was $70 million.
Now, the A’s are by far the worst team in the league with an 18-50 record entering Tuesday night.
Fisher, the son of Gap Inc. founders Donald and Doris Fisher, has a net worth of $2.2 billion.
Fans are trying their hardest to keep their team in place, but MLB owners do plan to authorize the A’s relocation plan to Las Vegas as long as it goes through the Nevada Assembly, per ESPN.
Decades of uncertainty surrounded the A’s and their fans, as relocation talks, including moves to San Jose and Fremont, were discussed, but that’s as far as it got.
However, Oakland’s Mayor, Sheng Thao, did tell ABC7 that a waterfront project at Howard Terminal site has momentum, saying “we are very close to a deal.” The caveat: Fisher would have to sell the team.
Instead, Fisher’s intentions are on a 30,000-seat stadium, which would be the smallest in MLB, that would sit on the site of the Tropicana Hotel.
Nonetheless, A’s fans are giving it their last shot in Oakland on Tuesday night, hoping their turn out proves the fan base is still with the team…as long as ownership changes.