Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

The Athletics have announced their plans to play in a minor league park near Sacramento for the next 3 seasons

The Athletics will depart Oakland after this season and play temporarily at a minor league park near Sacramento until their planned new stadium in Las Vegas is constructed. The A’s announced the decision to play at the home of the

By SOPHIE AUSTIN (Associated Press)

The Athletics will leave Oakland after this season and play temporarily at a minor league park near Sacramento until their planned new stadium in Las Vegas is built.

On Thursday, the A’s announced they will play at the home of the Sacramento River Cats from 2025-27, with an option for 2028, after being unable to extend their lease in Oakland during that time.

Vivek Ranadivé, the owner of the Sacramento Kings, also owns the minor league River Cats and believes the region has the potential to become a “mecca for sports.”

Ranadivé stated, “We have an incredible community and a passionate fan base — the best fans in the world. Today’s announcement marks the next chapter of professional sports in Sacramento.”

Ranadivé, A’s owner John Fisher, and local officials announced the news at Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento, where the A’s will play for the next three seasons, right across from the historic yellow Tower Bridge that connects the city with downtown Sacramento.

The stadium is in an area with new restaurants, bars, and apartment complexes and is about a mile from the state Capitol and the NBA arena where the Sacramento Kings play. It has 10,624 fixed seats and can currently hold 14,014 fans with lawn seating and standing room.

Ranadivé hopes the move will lead to the Sacramento region eventually hosting a permanent MLB team.

Fisher said that West Sacramento was among several locations considered for the team’s temporary home, including the Oakland Coliseum.

Fisher said in a statement that despite the long-standing relationship and good intentions in the negotiations with Oakland, the conditions to achieve an agreement seemed out of reach and understands the move will disappoint many fans.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said in a statement that the city “offered a deal that was fair to the A’s and was fiscally responsible for our city,” and that the city will now work on acquiring the A’s rights to the Coliseum site and focus on redevelopment efforts in the area.

Paul Freedman, co-founder of the Oakland Ballers, called the news of the move heart-breaking but said he is proud that fans will still be able to root for the newly-formed minor league team.

“Today is a tough day, but you can’t be beaten if you never give up,” Freedman said in a statement. “Let’s build something great together.”

Last April, the A’s announced their intention to move to Las Vegas, and MLB owners unanimously approved the application to relocate in November.

The team is baseball’s most transient. Las Vegas will be the fifth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54, then played in Kansas City through 1967 before moving to Oakland.

The decision angered the fans in Oakland and the team’s previously low attendance dropped precipitously with the club drawing a league-low 832,352 fans to the outdated Coliseum last season. The A’s drew 13,522 fans on opening night this year with a few thousand others protesting Fisher in the parking lot, and failed to reach 7,000 fans in any of the next six games.

But the news on Thursday is good for baseball fans in Sacramento. Mayor Martha Guerrero of West Sacramento said the move will help the city get more attention and bring in new customers for local bars and restaurants.

“We’re going to create a lovely, cozy atmosphere in this beautiful place,” she said. “We are very excited for this important day because it’s been a dream of West Sacramento to have a major league team here.”

The stadium will probably need more work to upgrade clubhouses, batting, and other facilities to be able to host a major league team.

“The MLBPA has had initial talks with MLB about various issues related to the temporary move and we expect those talks to continue,” the players union said in a statement.

The team will be known as the Athletics, or A’s, without a city name during the time in Sacramento.

The River Cats will still play in their stadium for the next three years and share it with the A’s.

By remaining in Northern California, the A’s hope to keep a large portion of their local television rights held by NBC Sports California, which is reportedly worth $67 million a year.

With the A’s departing from Oakland after this season, the Coliseum complex that was once home to the NFL’s Raiders, the NBA’s Warriors, and the NHL’s Seals will have no major sports teams.

Those teams together won 10 championships while in Oakland — four for the A’s and Warriors each, and two for the Raiders. The only cities with more combined titles in MLB, the NBA, and NFL since the A’s arrived in Oakland in 1968 are Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.

___

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments