Rob Manfred: A's Could Move to Las Vegas Unless City of Oakland Drops Lawsuit

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2019

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to reporters after a meeting of baseball team owners in New York, Thursday, June 20, 2019. The Tampa Bay Rays have received permission from Major League Baseball's executive council to explore a plan that could see the team split its home games between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, reports said Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed Tuesday that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred raised the possibility of the Oakland Athletics moving to Las Vegas if the City of Oakland does not drop its lawsuit against the A's, according to KTVU's Sal Castaneda.

Per KPIX's Kiet Do, the City of Oakland filed a lawsuit against the Athletics in an effort to prevent the organization from redeveloping the site of RingCentral Coliseum.

The lawsuit came to pass after the City of Oakland caught wind of Alameda County attempting to sell its ownership stake in the Coliseum back to the Athletics organization.

According to Do, Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid said Manfred told him, Schaaf and Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan in a pair of meetings that the A's have "other options" if the lawsuit isn't dropped. Reid added, "I don't think he was bluffing. He was very serious."

Schaaf expressed confidence the A's will remain in Oakland and explained how she believes it will happen: "I've been clear about the path to keeping the A's in Oakland—build a privately-financed ballpark that's responsible to taxpayers and enhances neighborhood vitality."

The Athletics have been in Oakland since moving from Kansas City in 1968, and they have played in the Coliseum their entire time in the city.

The NFL's Raiders also have a lengthy history in Oakland and the Coliseum, but after they were unable to reach a new stadium agreement, they made plans to move to Las Vegas. The Raiders are currently scheduled to begin playing in Vegas next season.

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Las Vegas would be a logical landing spot for the A's due to the crossover between the Athletics' and Raiders' fanbases.

The Athletics' Triple-A affiliate is located in Las Vegas as well, meaning there would be a built-in group of fans already in Vegas to support the A's.

With regard to the lawsuit Oakland filed against the A's, all parties are next scheduled to appear in court Nov. 14.

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