HomeHomeMLB commissioner Rob Manfred not optimistic about Athletics staying in Oakland

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred not optimistic about Athletics staying in Oakland

The Oakland Athletics‘ future in the Bay area does not seem certain as commissioner Rob Manfred hinted that a potential move to Las Vegas is on the table.

Manfred joined Sirius XM radio to discuss the ongoing issues involving the Athletics and stated that he is no longer optimistic the team will remain in Oakland.

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“I think the mayor in Oakland has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” Manfred told Chris “MadDog“ Russo. “I think the A’s have proceeded prudently in terms of exploring the Las Vegas alternative, given the lack of pace in Oakland. I think they have to look for an alternative.”

The commissioner has been adamant that Oakland would need to get a deal done for a new stadium soon, saying back in July that the conditions at RingCentral Coliseum were a serious problem for MLB and that it was not a major-league-worthy facility.

Billy Bean, the Athletics’ longtime executive vice president of baseball operations, said earlier this month that he believes the club will secure a new ballpark in Oakland and that he plans to see the project get done.

“Listen, at some point we will have a new stadium, that’s what makes me feel good. I hope it’s within my tenure,” Beane told The Associated Press. “But we will, and I think the organization and the city deserve it. It’ll happen.”

Oakland owner John Fisher and team president Dave Kaval have been working on a ballpark project on the Oakland waterfront near the city’s Jack London Square district.

“The one thing I do know about our pursuit is that since it started with Dave and John Fisher, look they’ve been obsessed with trying to secure a venue here, and it’s not easy,” Beane said. “I can tell you having seen both sides of it. The frustration from a team standpoint is, yeah, it would be nice to be at that point where we can have some continuity. We don’t, and until we have a new venue we’re not going to. … I can tell you it’s not through lack of trying. And I say that from both sides, too, it’s not an easy issue. There’s no, ‘Hey, whose fault is it? It’s this person or this city.’ It’s not at all. This is a challenging project for everybody on both sides.”

In May 2021, MLB instructed Oakland’s brass to explore relocation options if no ballpark agreement could be reached and Kaval has said the club was working on plans along “parallel paths” in Oakland and Las Vegas.

The A’s are the last professional franchise remaining in Oakland after the NBA’s Golden State Warriors relocated to San Francisco and the NFL’s Raiders to Las Vegas.

The team’s plan in Oakland calls for a $1 billion privately financed 35,000-seat waterfront ballpark, 3,000 residential units, office and retail space, hotel rooms and an indoor performance center.

A lease for the A’s at the aging Coliseum runs through 2024 and MLB has said rebuilding at the current location is not a viable option.

“I know the effort is going into making it happen here,” Beane said, “I’ve seen it first hand.”

–With files from The Associated Press.

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