“MLB Commissioner Unhappy With Oakland A's Stadium Situation” has been an evergreen headline for the better part of the last 20 years, but league commissioner Rob Manfred is apparently now pressuring the city with a veiled threat of the A’s being moved to Las Vegas.
It’s already a depressing time for Oakland A’s fans, with the team just getting bounced from the playoffs Wednesday night. But there are bigger-picture concerns with the team and its chronically unsolved stadium situation, as the latest attempt at building the A’s a new ballpark has drawn a lawsuit from the Oakland City Council. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is not staying on the sidelines and watching this play out, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports Manfred is lodging vague threats that the A’s could be moved to Las Vegas.
“The commissioner pointed out that Bay Area fans will soon be going to Las Vegas to see the Raiders and that unless things changed, Bay Area fans may be going to Las Vegas or elsewhere to see the A’s as well,” Oakland city councilperson Larry Reid told the Chron.
That’s not a direct quote from Manfred, of course, but Reid did meet directly with Manfred last week. “He kind of laid down the law,” Reid said.
Reid also met separately with Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, who opposes the lawsuit, and is trying to strong-arm city council into backing down. “In the interest of reducing strife and litigation, the Oakland City Council has unanimously asked our administration to meet directly with county leaders on strategies to resolve issues regarding our shared public property,” she told the Chronicle.
What’s at issue here is not the new ballpark per se, but Alameda County’s sale of half the current Oakland Coliseum property to the A’s. The city of Oakland, which owns the other half of the property, says the site should be considered as affordable housing rather than sold to the A’s. It’s a well-intentioned gamble in the current housing crisis, but a gamble that could end up sending the team to Las Vegas.
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