Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred takes a walk on the field before Game 2 of an American League Division Series game between the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Field in Houston, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. Manfred has repeatedly said that the Oakland Coliseum location is not viable and is only focused on the Howard Terminal location in downtown Oakland (AP News photo file)
2023 For the A’s: “This Is It”
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
Like one of the Top 100 Songs on Billboard in the year 1979, Kenny Loggins “This Is It”. This 2023 Is It for the Oakland A’s. We will know if they are staying in Oakland while they build their new planned baseball park at Howard Terminal. Or leaving Oakland for Las Vegas.
Or new owners buy the team and pledge to keep them in Oakland. Pick one. Those are the most likely scenarios. They will not build their new park at the same location (in my opinion the best) the Oakland Coliseum; that is out of the question since Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred had repeatedly stated that is not an option.
The A’s have played in Oakland since 1968 and won 4 World Series at the Oakland Coliseum, only the Los Angeles Dodgers since 1958 have won more World Series among all five California teams with six titles.
What scenarios are left?
1-The current ownership of the A’s comes to an agreement with the City of Oakland to build Howard Terminal. Currently. There are no talks with Sheng Thao the new Mayor elected of Oakland. How likely is that? Depends on who you talk to. The city of Oakland had agreed to publicly fund the transportation and infrastructure around the privately funded 35,000-seat, 55-acre ballpark at the Port of Oakland complex named Howard Terminal.
The city applied for a federal grant estimated at a cost of $366 million, with the city’s request for $182 million, but that city application for $182 million was not approved. The funding is not there. That is not good news for those that want the A’s to stay.
But the City of Oakland and the Oakland A’s do not have a binding contract. So far all is non-binding. Difference? What is a binding contract? A “binding contract” is any agreement that’s legally enforceable. That means if you sign a binding contract and don’t fulfill your end of the bargain, the other party can take you to court.
2- Las Vegas, Nevada. The A’s have talked with multiple site owners, all adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip. Two sites primarily, one next to Circus Circus owned by Phil Ruffin, and the other one at the current site of the Tropicana, recently purchased by Bally’s Corporation.
Bally’s corporation and Sinclair Broadcasting acquired a group of stations from Fox Regional Sports which currently have the broadcast rights for various major league baseball teams. For a while, A’s were talking with Phil Ruffin regarding the Las Vegas Fairground site, (according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal), but that is not the case anymore. It seems as of today, the Las Vegas Review-Journal confirmed the A’s have the Tropicana site as their favorite. Looks like the A’s have picked their site.
3- If the Oakland A’s get an offer from a new owner to buy the team. Although the A’s are not officially for sale, there are two teams currently for sale, the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Angels. Since 2005 Joe Lacob and Peter Guber have expressed their interest for buying the A’s and keeping them in Oakland but the A’s current ownership was not interested. Now Lacob and Gruber are interested in the LA Angels, but in the world of business there are always surprises. So for those that want to keep the A’s in Oakland it would be very good news that a new owner buys the team.
The Oakland Athletics will have their relocation fee waived if they decide to move to Las Vegas, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says 2023 is a big year when it comes to the future of the franchise. Yes indeed, “This Is It” 2023 is here. Fish or cut bait.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s lead Spanish radio play by play announcer on flagship station 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com