April 21, 2023

Oakland A's Reach Deal on Stadium Land in Las Vegas: The Oakland Athletics have struck a deal on a 49-acre site near the Las Vegas Strip to open a new stadium by 2027, saying goodbye to the city after 55 seasons. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao had been in daily negotiations to keep the team with a new waterfront ballpark. Thao said, "It is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas." Vegas will be the fourth home for the franchise, which began in Philadelphia in 1901 and moved to Kansas City in 1955.

posted by rcade to baseball at 10:33 AM - 3 comments

Losing one franchise to a city is bad enough, but two? Not cool Vegas.

posted by rcade at 02:36 PM on April 21, 2023

And Oakland also lost the Warriors (back) to San Francisco. The cupboard is getting bare.

Like the A's, the Warriors began in Philly.

I'm a bit too young to remember the A's leaving Philly for Kansas City.

But I do remember them relocating to Oakland.

The A's move from Philadelphia to KC is interesting because it didn't get nearly the amount of press or was considered nearly as momentous as the relocation of the Giants and Dodgers to California a few years later. In the mid 50's, KC was a dusty cowtown considered somewhat of a remote outpost by Easterners, but like nearby St. Louis, the east-west trains ran there, so visiting teams were able to travel in without much trouble.

The A's were terrible the whole time they were in KC and started winning the moment they got to Oakland. Maybe they'll stay terrible the remainder of their time in Oakland and start winning again when they get to Vegas.

Oakland seems to be getting steadily more upscale and gentrified these days, so perhaps it will loom as a bona fide expansion destination in the future. A lot of money would have to be spent on facilities beforehand, though.

posted by beaverboard at 03:12 PM on April 21, 2023

When the A's moved to KC, the St. Louis Cardinals were the MLB team furthest west and enjoyed a huge regional following throughout the west and south as there were no teams south of Washington DC.

Cardinals games were broadcast on clear channel AM radio which covered a broad geographic area. The Cards were truly America's Team long before Ted Turner tried to pump the Atlanta Braves for that role via widespread cable coverage.

On arrival, the Kansas City A's became the team furthest west but never caught on as a serious regional threat to the Cardinals in the hearts and minds of folks in flyover country.

But something good must have happened in KC between 1955 and 1968, because the city was promptly awarded an expansion team right after the A's left. And the Royals were well organized and played decent ball right from the start. Kansas Citians were probably relieved that Charlie O. Finley and his mules and Cadillacs had lit out for the coast.

posted by beaverboard at 10:43 PM on April 21, 2023

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