They say that in negotiations, the side that can walk away has the advantage. The Oakland A’s are flexing that power with a fresh threat to relocate if the team cannot secure a new ballpark.
The team said on Tuesday that they were directed by Major League Baseball to explore other cities, and that the 55- year-old Coliseum site is not a viable option for the team going forward. The A’s have designs on a new Oakland stadium in the Howard Terminal waterfront area.
MLB released a statement citing concerns about the “rate of progress” on the team’s ballpark and said any effort to rebuild at the current Coliseum site, where the A’s lease expires in 2024, “is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball.” The league wants the team at a downtown waterfront stadium or in a new city.
Citing the glacial negotiations with city government, team president Dave Kaval wrote to fans that “it is unclear to us and MLB whether there is a path to success for the A’s in Oakland.”
The NFL’s Raiders left the city for Las Vegas in January 2020, just four months after the NBA’s Warriors moved across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco. Vegas is a possible relocation target for the A’s, per ESPN.
Keeping the A’s in Oaktown may hinge on the city approving the $12 billion development plan laid out by the team. The plan includes:
- $1 billion for the stadium
- 3,000 units of housing
- 1.5 million square feet of office space
The A’s also included a non-relocation agreement if the term sheet, submitted in April, is approved by the city. The city council is expected to vote on the proposal this summer.