Raiders fans have seen this movie before.
On Tuesday, Major League Baseball and the Oakland Athletics both released statements saying the franchise will start looking to relocate if the city of Oakland doesn’t make progress soon on a new baseball stadium for the A’s. The MLB has been working with the A’s to try to get a deal done with Oakland on a new stadium for the past 15 years.
Statement from MLB, provided by #Athletics incl.: "The Oakland Coliseum site is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball. We have instructed the Athletics to begin to explore other markets while they continue to pursue a waterfront ballpark in Oakland. " pic.twitter.com/oXCTIetgOh— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) May 11, 2021
Statement from owner John Fisher, per #Athletics : "The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark. 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."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) May 11, 2021
Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to report the story on Tuesday, stating that the leading candidate to land the A’s is Las Vegas. Although adding that plenty of other cities would also welcome the team.
While the A's have expressed that remaining in Oakland and building a $12 billion mixed-use development is their priority, the standstill of the project prompted today's move. The leading contender if the A's do move: Las Vegas. Plenty of other cities would welcome the team, too.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 11, 2021
Of course, the Raiders and the A’s shared the Oakland Coliseum from 1968 (sans when the Raiders were in Los Angeles from 1982-94) until the Raiders moved to Las Vegas in 2019 after not being able to secure a new stadium deal in Oakland. They were the last NFL and MLB teams to share a stadium. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors moved from Oakland to downtown San Francisco in 2019.
Now the A’s may be on the move and they could end up in Vegas, which would further cement the city as a major sports town. The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights became the first pro sports team in Las Vegas in 2017. There has also been talk of the NBA bringing a team to the Strip — and of course, Raiders owner Mark Davis recently bought the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA.
At least, one Raider is into the idea of the A’s moving to Vegas.
The Raiders’ and Athletics’ management didn’t have the best of relationships toward the end of their shared time in Oakland, partly because of stadium issues.
But, if the A’s do indeed relocate to Las Vegas, I could see the relationship improving quickly.
UPDATE: The Las Vegas Review Journal spoke to Davis about the A’s development and Davis was pretty honest in his views.
.@Raiders owner Mark Davis on @Athletics looking to relocate: "I hate to say it's expected, but it's expected. It's what we went through...the government up there, is just not capable of putting a deal together that's win-win. And that's all you ever look for is win-win."— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) May 11, 2021