By Becky Sullivan, NPR, April 21, 2023
Editorial Team Note:
“The Oakland Athletics have signed a binding agreement to purchase land in Las Vegas to build a new ballpark, signaling a move away from Oakland after more than five decades in the city.
“If the move proceeds as planned, the A’s will become just the second Major League Baseball franchise to move cities in more than 50 years.
“ ‘Even with support from fans, leaders at the city, county, and state level, and throughout the broader community, the process to build a new ballpark in Oakland has made little forward progress for some time,’ the team said.
“Negotiations had most recently centered on a waterfront site near downtown Oakland. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao announced Wednesday night that the city had ceased those negotiations with the team, adding that she was ‘deeply disappointed’ with the team’s decision.
“ ‘The City has gone above and beyond in our attempts to arrive at mutually beneficial terms to keep the A’s in Oakland,’ she said in a statement. ‘Yet, it is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game – the fans and our residents deserve better.’
“The team’s move would mark the third major professional sports team to depart Oakland in recent years, leaving the city with none.”