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Monday, June 10, 2024

Oakland A’s big move to Sacramento

The Oakland Athletics to play in Sacramento through 2027 before their Las Vegas relocation

 

By CAROLYN (CARI) FENN — sports@theaggie.org

 

Despite Oakland fans’ efforts to keep the Athletics (A’s) at the Oakland Coliseum, on Nov. 16, 2023, Major League Baseball (MLB) owners unanimously approved the team’s move to Las Vegas, Nevada starting in the 2028 season. 

After this heartbreaking decision was announced, Oakland fans had no choice but to accept that they would lose the major league franchise come 2028. The heartbreak was further complicated when, on April 4, 2024, the Oakland A’s had yet another announcement where they declared that they would be leaving Oakland and heading to Sacramento for the 2025 to 2027 seasons before their big move to Las Vegas. With both decisions, 2024 marks the team’s last season in Oakland.

While the A’s lease with the city of Oakland expires at the end of the 2024 season, they were reportedly attempting to negotiate a short-term lease with the city to allow the team to play at the Oakland Coliseum for the remaining time before the move. However, after negotiations reportedly collapsed with Oakland, the A’s began looking at California’s capital for their temporary home.

The A’s will play at the San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats’, home stadium — Sutter Health Park. During the A’s time in Sacramento, they have chosen not to change their name to reflect the new city, instead opting to just go by their nickname. For their time in Sacramento, they will also be sharing the stadium with the River Cats, meaning that during the three seasons the A’s are in Sacramento, the stadium will host a total of 156 games a season — 81 A’s games and 75 River Cat games.

Along with the move will come a downgrade in the seats available for fans within the stadium. The Oakland Coliseum contains 63,000 seats for fans while Sutter Health Park contains only around 14,014 seats, including the outfield lawn open seating. Although the team is having a downgrade in seating capacity, in Oakland, the A’s only averaged 6,243 attendees in their first 13 home games of the season. This year, Oakland has had the lowest number of attendees out of any MLB team with 81,167 people. 

While attendance has never been high for the Oakland-based MLB team, the fan’s turbulent relationship with franchise owner John Fisher hasn’t helped the cause. Many Oakland A’s fans have shown disdain for the team’s owner as he refuses to invest in building a competitive team, having the lowest payroll in baseball at a total of $47,275,000. Oakland’s payroll is nearly $30 million below the next lowest team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, with a payroll of $72,014,000. 

After years of poor records, low attendance and an unstable relationship between fans and the franchise owner, the A’s move to Sacramento will mark the end of their 57-year run in the East Bay. The A’s official exit from Oakland at the end of the season will also mark the third and final professional sports team to leave the city in the past six years, with the Golden State Warriors having left in 2019 and the now Las Vegas Raiders having left in 2020.

Despite the move marking the end of an era for Oakland, it is just the beginning for the city of Sacramento. For Sacramento, the next three years will be a tryout to the MLB, proving that the city can be the home to an MLB team if an opportunity arises. More specifically, Sacramento hopes that if the A’s deal with Las Vegas falls through, they could become the final landing spot of the team. With Las Vegas yet to break ground on the new stadium and debates being heard from groups against the stadium’s construction, it could very well be a plausible occurrence.

Even though the A’s will soon be heading to Sacramento, a piece of the team will always belong to the city of Oakland. From four World Series titles to the infamous Moneyball era under General Manager Billy Beane, Oakland A fans will always be able to remember the good times they had with the team.

Written by: Carolyn (Cari) Fenn — sports@theaggie.org

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