Ann Caslin protests during reverse boycott at A’s game in Oakland Coliseum.
Ann Caslin protests during reverse boycott at A’s game in Oakland Coliseum.
Annie Mladinich

A’s Say: Goodbye Oakland, Hello Vegas

On November 16, all 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) owners voted to relocate the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas. After 55 seasons, the 2024 MLB season will be the last time the A’s will play in the Oakland Coliseum. This marks the third Oakland sports team to leave the city since 2019 after the Raiders and Golden State Warriors.

After the 2024 season, the A’s will not have a home until their Las Vegas stadium is constructed in 2028. From 2025-28, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, a fan of the A’s, said the team must find another ballpark because they cannot play at the Coliseum “for free.”

Prior to the vote, A’s fans fought fiercely to keep the A’s in Oakland. Supporters went as far as sending gift baskets to MLB owners to convince them to vote against relocation. Fans known as the Oakland 68s organized reverse boycotts, where they packed stadiums during A’s games to protest, chanting “Sell the team.”

On November 7th, fans attended an Oakland press conference at City Hall repeating phrases like “Stay in Oakland.” There, Thao similarly denounced the relocation, which she had attempted to prevent by negotiating a new stadium project at Howard Terminal in Oakland funded by over 400 million dollars in grants. 

She expressed fears regarding the impact the A’s departure would have on the community: “This is intergenerational memories, this is future possible games and memories that we will build with our kids and our children and community. This is how we keep ourselves safe because when we get to go to these games and we talk to the people sitting next to us building the community that we wouldn’t otherwise have, that’s important. That’s our social fabric.” Still, Thao said the A’s rejected all offers for staying.

Many fans blame the sudden move on John Fisher, owner of the A’s since 2005: “I think it’s an injustice… [Fisher] is not really interested in the community or what the team brings to the community. He’s just interested in making as much money as he can by taking them to Vegas,” said Ann Caslin, A’s fan of 44 years. In contrast, the A’s claim to have planned the move because of unsatisfactory progress and support in the city, as well as uncertainty concerning whether or not Oakland would provide a deal before the possibility of renewing their lease ends in January 2024.

Followers of the team will miss the A’s, “But things changed. […] Nothing should stay the same,” commented Mt. Eden teacher Paul Mitchell, A’s fan since 1975. Despite their disappointment, both Caslin and Mitchell said they would still be A’s fans, although to a lesser extent.

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