The Athletics' final season in Oakland will be in 2024
The Oakland Athletics are officially Las Vegas-bound.
The Northern California team’s move from Oakland to Las Vegas was approved by MLB owners on Thursday, CBS Sports reported. There were no dissenting votes.
The unanimous vote means that the A’s have become the third sports team — following the now Las Vegas Raiders NHL team and the now Golden State Warriors NBA team — to relocate in the last five years, according to USA Today.
The A’s current lease on the Oakland Coliseum lasts through 2024, but it's unclear where the team will be based when they first relocate to Las Vegas. In 2028, the team will move into a $1.5 billion stadium on the Las Vegas strip, per the outlet.
The relocation marks the end of the A’s 55-year reign as Oakland’s MLB team. Former player and World Series MVP Dave Stewart told USA Today that the move will be “so damaging” to the city, which he said is “in pretty bad shape economically.”
“They needed an economic driver like the A’s. I saw the Raiders leave, and the [Golden State] Warriors leave, but I thought the A’s would be there forever,” Stewart told the outlet.
“This is heartbreaking for me, just heartbreaking.’’
The news of the MLB’s vote comes six months after the team purchased land on the Las Vegas strip, per the Associated Press.
The 49-acre plot of land has a seating capacity of up to 35,000, and team president Dave Kaval said he hoped to break ground in 2024.
"It's obviously a very big milestone for us,” he said at the time. “We spent almost two years working in Las Vegas to try to determine a location that works for a long-term home. To identify a site and have a purchase agreement is a big step.”
Kaval added that the A’s were “turning our full attention to Las Vegas” as they sought out a new “future home” for the team.
In June, a few months after the A's purchased the land, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo approved a $380 million public funding bill to finance the stadium's construction should the team's move be approved, CBS Sports reported.
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In a statement to USA Today following the news of the unanimous vote, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao expressed her “disappointment” in the decision.
"We do not see this as the end of the road. We all know there is a long way to go before shovels in the ground and that there are a number of unresolved issues surrounding this move.”
Thao’s statement continued, “I have also made it clear to the Commissioner that the A’s branding and name should stay in Oakland and we will continue to work to pursue expansion opportunities. Baseball has a home in Oakland even if the A’s ownership relocates.”
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