Oakland A's Executives to Make Official Visit to Portland as Team Explores Relocation

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2021

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 28: Robbie Grossman #8 of the Oakland Athletics waits during a pitching change as he rests his helmet beside his sock showing the team logo in the eleventh inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher, president Dave Kaval, vice president Billy Beane and executive Sandy Dean will reportedly make an official visit to Portland, Oregon, next month on a "fact-finding" mission, according to John Canzano of The Oregonian

The organization is also visiting Las Vegas this week as it considers potential relocation. 

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is rooting for the Athletics to relocate to Portland: 

Russell Wilson @DangeRussWilson

Let’s Gooo!!! Portland + @MLB Oakland A’s = Winning Formula #PNW https://t.co/6dHvFTH3rn

It might seem a bit odd that Wilson—who professionally represents a city that was devastated by the Seattle Supersonics' relocation to Oklahoma City, where they became the Thunder—would stump for Oakland to lose its baseball team.  

But Wilson and his wife Ciara are part of an investment team trying to bring baseball to Portland, which explains his interest in the Athletics' potential relocation.

And it appears there is real interest between the city of Portland and the Athletics organization.

“PDP can confirm that we have engaged in talks with the Athletics, and plans for a visit by team officials are underway," Portland Diamond Project found Craig Cheek and managing partner Mike Barrett told Canzano in a statement Monday. “PDP will have no further comment at this time.”

Las Vegas, which recently plucked the Raiders out of Oakland, will be a formidable foe for Portland. And there is always the possibility that the Athletics will work out a deal with the city of Oakland on a new ballpark. 

Until that happens, though—and it remains a major point of contention whether cities and taxpayers actually financially benefit from investing heavily in stadium projects—the Athletics will court new locations.

"The future success of the A's depends on a new ballpark," Fisher said in a statement earlier in May. "Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB's direction to explore other markets."