After years of “will they or won’t they” talk around the possibility of the Oakland Athletics moving out of the Bay Area, the hammer came down on Wednesday with news that the Oakland Athletics would be moving to Las Vegas, with a preliminary, binding, agreement between the Franchise and the city of Las Vegas for the franchise to get a new stadium in the Sin City and leave Oakland.
As for Oakland, it’s the third franchise to leave the city in recent years. The Golden State Warriors didn’t go very far, but they left Oracle Arena in Oakland for the sparkling, state-of-the-art, Chase Center in San Francisco. And, the Las Vegas Raiders left Oakland prior to the 2020 season to move into another state-of-the-art stadium, Allegiant Stadium, in Las Vegas. Allegiant Stadium will host Super Bowl LVIII next February.
But, it could be a few years until the new Athletics stadium is built in Los Angeles. And, in the meantime, the already-eroding fanbase of the historically bad 3-16 Oakland Athletics is almost certainly not going to start showing up in droves as a lame duck fan base. It would make sense that owner John Fisher would want to get out as quickly as possible.
And, he may have a solution in Las Vegas Ballpark, the home of the AAA Las Vegas Aviators. They are the AAA affiliate of the Athletics right now.
Here is more from Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS.
“We have an agreement with the Aviators with Don [Logan] and Howard Hughes [Corporation] to play at their stadium temporarily,” he said. “We’re really deferring to Major League Baseball to kind of help us make that decision.”
Kaval said the Las Vegas Aviators, currently the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, will be staying in the area.
“It’s going to be like the Golden Knights and the Silver Knights,” said Kaval. “Having two teams in town at the same time. It’s going to be great for player development.”
Las Vegas Ballpark seats 10,000, which is a great number for a AAA team. But, the smallest stadium currently in MLB is Progessive Field, home of the Cleveland Guardians. But, for the Oakland Athletics, it’s probably better than playing in the decrepit, cavernous, Oakland Coliseum.