The A’s may be rooted in Oakland, but those roots never have run very deep during their 53 years in the city. Counting this week’s threat via Major League Baseball, there’s been at least nine times when it seemed plausible the franchise could be dug up and replanted elsewhere.
With the A’s efforts to secure a multi-billion dollar waterfront stadium project at Howard Terminal moving slower than they’d like, MLB has given the A’s permission to pursue relocation. The team is expected to explore its options in cities such as Las Vegas, Portland, Montreal, Nashville, Charlotte and Vancouver.
How real the threat is of the A’s leaving town is open to interpretation. After all, there have been multiple efforts by the A’s over the past 20 years to move out of the decrepit Coliseum. What’s clear is this latest effort marks the most direct power play yet to get the A’s out of their crumbling home ASAP.
The irony, of course, is that there never would have been baseball in Oakland had it not been for that drab, concrete monstrosity sitting off 66th Ave. Once considered a state-of-the-art building when it opened in 1966, A’s owner Charlie Finley only chose to move his team from Kansas City to Oakland because it had a new, move-in-ready stadium, which contending cities Dallas, Milwaukee and Seattle lacked.