Report: Oakland A’s to consider options for relocation

Major League Baseball has given the Oakland Athletics the green light to explore moving the franchise in the event negotiations with the city for a new ballpark fall through, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The Athletics' current lease at what's now called RingCentral Coliseum runs through 2024, but MLB has been unhappy with the progress of negotiations between the team and the city to upgrade or replace it.

"The Oakland Coliseum site is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball," the league said in a statement. "We have instructed the Athletics to begin to explore other markets while they continue to pursue a waterfront ballpark in Oakland. The Athletics need a new ballpark to remain competitive, so it is now in our best interest to also consider other markets."

The Athletics have called Oakland home since 1968. (Photo: Eric Risberg, AP)

The A's have proposed a $12 billion mixed-use complex that would include a $1 billion privately funded ballpark along the Oakland waterfront. However those plans must be approved by the city council, which has so far refused to endorse or hold a formal vote on the project.

"The future success of the A's depends on a new ballpark," A's owner John Fisher said in a statement. "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."

Within the past two years, Oakland's NFL and NBA franchises have left the city for new home stadiums — the Raiders relocated to Las Vegas in 2020 and the Warriors moved across the Bay to San Francisco in 2019.

A’s president Dave Kaval presented a letter to the city council on April 23, urging that they vote on the ballpark proposal before they recess for the summer. The ballclub is seeking $855 million in public money for infrastructure improvements around the new stadium, which would be generated through special tax districts around the development. The club also hopes to develop the land around their current Coliseum home.

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement last month that the city “is willing to bring to bear its resources to help make this vision a reality; however, today’s proposal from the A’s appears to request public investment at the high end for projects of this type nationwide. We remain fully committed to working collaboratively with the A’s, our City Council, and our community partners, to formulate a public-private partnership and project of which we can all be proud, and to bring forth a consensus plan to our City Council this year.”

The A's, who have played in Oakland since 1968, have on several occasions attempted to leave the now-55-year-old Coliseum, but each time have seen those plans fall through. 

ESPN's Jeff Passan cites Las Vegas as the leading contender should the A's seek a new home. Other possibilities include Vancouver, Nashville, Montreal, Portland and Charlotte.

Contributing: Gabe Lacques

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