Nothing is right in Oakland.
The Oakland Athletics have long been fighting for a new stadium in the Bay Area, but it seems their latest attempts are running low, and they may continue to be. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Tuesday that MLB has officially given the Athletics the go-ahead to explore the Oakland exit to find a new home for their team.
“The Oakland Coliseum site is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball,” the league said in a statement. “We have instructed the Athletics to begin exploring other markets as they continue to search for an oceanfront ballpark in Oakland.
“The A’s need a new ballpark to remain competitive, so now we should consider other markets as well.”
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While there is something charming about the plump Oakland Coliseum that is home to the aggressive and badass A’s, there is no denying that the building is a rotten eyesore of a park. Whatever the reason a new stadium isn’t being built, be it politics, money, property, or all of the above, the truth is that it’s not a viable venue for professional baseball in 2021.
From rooted in Oakland to potentially uprooted in Oakland, these are some of the possible landing spots that are rumored when, if ever, the Athletics pack up and leave the Bay Area.
The most obvious choice here, Vegas has had success with professional franchises heading to the desert in recent years. The NFL Raiders are the latest example, with the NHL Golden Knights expansion making noise and heading to a Stanley Cup final in its first year of existence.
While baseball and Las Vegas seemingly go hand-in-hand like a jackhammer and fine china given the sport’s sordid history with the game, with the league ever closer to agreeing more with the betting, it’s not all that taboo. as it has been in years past.
The aura of Vegas and the Athletics makes perfect sense as a couple.
North Carolina, home to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights and Durham Bulls, has already proven to be a viable option for baseball.
While college football is king in the Carolinas, Charlotte’s thirst for professional sports has long been evident, with fans clamoring for another professional sports team for years. After the Hornets came up and went to New Orleans, it didn’t take long for the NBA to replace them with the (then) Bobcats, and now the Hornets once again. Charlotte is also home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
Sure, it might make sense for the Oakland Athletics to become the next “Battered Bastards of Baseball.” The Trail Blazers could certainly need some company, too. (And the Timbers, we guess).
Portland, Oregon, has long been behind a major league squad, and the city is often mentioned as an option for rumored team relocations (the Expos and Marlins were two specific examples).
To add smoke to the Portland fire, an MLB-grade ballpark is scheduled to open in 2022 that will seat 35,000 to 45,000 people and feature a retractable roof. The market is already larger than others that currently house teams (Kansas City, Cincinnati).
Hints have been made to Montreal in recent years, and the Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly considering splitting home games between Florida and North of the Border in Montreal in 2019.
What if MLB gives them a full-time team?
While baseball in Montreal failed more due to lack of interest than actual team success (however, the Expos teams of the late 1990s didn’t help much in that case), Canada seems ready to try again. . Further expansion to another country will certainly help the MLB case to become a more global game, after all.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.