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End of an era: Athletics leave Oakland for good

On Nov. 16, a pivotal moment in baseball history unfolded as the Major League Baseball (MLB) owners unanimously greenlit the Oakland Athletics (A’s) relocation to Las Vegas, Nevada. This landmark decision not only signifies a significant shift for the A’s but also marks a bitter conclusion of professional sports in Oakland after 55 years of unforgettable moments.

After this decision, emotions ran high on both sides of the spectrum. While many Oakland fans expressed disappointment and nostalgia for the team leaving its home since 1968, there is a buzz of excitement in Las Vegas as the city prepares to welcome its fourth major sports franchise.

A preview of what the Athletics’ new stadium could look like. (Photo courtesy of KSNV)

This decision for the A’s to leave the East Bay came four years after the Golden State Warriors returned across the bay to San Francisco and just three years after the Oakland Raiders moved to Las Vegas. This, along with the A’s lack of funding from the city of Oakland, ultimately paved the way for the A’s to depart to Vegas.

Amid the mixed emotions, Sheng Thao, Oakland’s mayor, has become a prominent figure in the fight to keep the team in the city. In a heartfelt letter to 15 MLB owners, Thao outlined why the MLB should reject A’s owner John Fisher’s attempt to move the team. However, despite the efforts, the outcome remained unchanged.

“We [the city] are disappointed by the outcome of this vote. But we do not see this as the end of the road,” Thao said. 

Thao is hopeful that baseball will soon return to the city, whether it’s an expansion team or another relocated team.

“I have also made it clear to the [MLB] 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,” Thao said.

The Oakland Coliseum, the Athletics’ home since 1968. (Photo courtesy of The Guardian)

While Thao and many others were upset about the decision to relocate, many people, including Fisher, were still excited about the fresh start.

“I share a lot of sadness that our team will be leaving its home since 1968, [but I still have] pride in what we have accomplished together on and off the field in Oakland. I also [am] optimistic about the future of the A’s in Las Vegas,” Fisher said.

Many players from the A’s weighed in through social media about the change, with some expressing sadness about leaving behind the city where they had forged their careers, while others conveyed excitement about the prospects of playing in a new city.

The team will continue to play in Oakland for another four years, as the new stadium isn’t expected to be done until 2027 and the team doesn’t plan to play there until 2028. During these next few seasons, fans can cherish the last moments at the Coliseum, celebrating the team’s legacy and fostering a sense of camaraderie before bidding farewell to the city that has always been their home.

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About the Contributor
Ashlin Quach, Reporter
Ashlin Quach is a junior at Redwood High School and is a reporter for the bark. He enjoys spending time with friends, playing football and listening to music.