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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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A’s Could Be Inching Toward Sacramento Move After Week of Local Meetings

  • The A’s met with officials from Oakland and Sacramento this week.
  • They appear far apart on lease terms offered by Oakland.
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s appear closer than ever to finding a new home for 2025 and maybe beyond.

A day after the organization met with the city of Oakland about a possible short-term lease extension there, the A’s were set to meet with Sacramento officials Wednesday. Smoke is gathering around the A’s possibly moving 80 miles to the northeast. 

An Athletic story in February called Sacramento the “front-runner” to host the A’s next year, and recent developments have only reinforced that. A Bay Area TV reporter said Tuesday that “some employees have been told that Sac is happening,” while the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday that a move within Northern California “seems more realistic every day and soon could be a reality.”

The A’s, the city of Oakland, and Alameda County have been negotiating over a short-term extension in the Bay Area, but the sides remain far apart financially. The city’s going away present for the A’s is a significant spike in rent, even by California standards. A’s owner John Fisher currently pays $1.5 million a year to play at the Coliseum. The city wants the team to pay a $97 million nonrefundable extension fee, whether the team stays for three years or longer.  

“We appreciate Oakland’s engagement and also we are far apart on the terms needed to agree on an extension,” the A’s said in a statement. 

Sacramento apparently is interested in making a cheaper offer to land the A’s, with the team likely temporarily playing in a minor league facility there. A move to Sacramento would also allow the organization to keep its partnership with NBC Sports Bay Area, and, more important, at least some of the tens of millions of dollars annually that come with it.

But even Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg told a local television station that it’s in the team’s best interest to stay in Oakland. 

“It’s important for me to express my sincere hope that the A’s remain in Oakland,” Steinberg said. “I have been consistent in my support for this from the very beginning. However, I believe that Sacramento has so much to offer and would be a fantastic temporary landing spot for the A’s. Our city and region have a rich history in baseball and a deep love for sports. Sacramento would wholeheartedly welcome Major League Baseball, as we have shown with the Sacramento Kings. Second to Oakland, Sacramento is the best choice.”

That would make Steinberg at least the second big-city mayor lukewarm on hosting the franchise. Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman previously said on Front Office Sports Today in February the A’s Vegas ballpark plan at the time “does not make sense.”

According to ABC7 in San Francisco, the A’s will have an internal meeting Thursday. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said he’d like the A’s to have a plan for their move sooner rather than later. It appears they’re close to having at least part of one. 

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