Athletics exploring relocation from Oakland, MLB releases statement

May 11, 2021

The Oakland Athletics may be calling a new city their home in the near future.

On Tuesday, the Athletics announced that they will explore relocation options as the franchise continues its push to build a new ballpark in Oakland, according to ESPN. The team has played in Oakland since 1968, but they are trying to build a waterfront ballpark downtown at the Howard Terminal site.

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Major League Baseball released a statement on Tuesday stating that the current Coliseum site is “not a viable option for the future vision of baseball.”

“MLB is concerned with the rate of progress on the A’s new ballpark effort with local officials and other stakeholders in Oakland,” the baseball organization stated. “The A’s have worked very hard to advance a new ballpark in downtown Oakland for the last four years, investing significant resources while facing multiple roadblocks. We know they remain deeply committed to succeeding in Oakland, and with two other sports franchises recently leaving the community, their commitment to Oakland is now more important than ever.”

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Back in November of 2018, the Athletics announced that they found a waterfront location for their new ballpark that they wanted to open in 2023. The team’s owner John Fisher also released a statement respecting baseball’s instructions to seek a new location for the team, but he says that they are committed to pursuing the waterfront construction site.

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“The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark,” Fisher said. “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.”

The proposed ballpark site is approximately 6 miles from the Coliseum, but there is no mass transit. The Athletics and the city of Oakland had a plan to build a gondola that would go from the waterfront area of the ballpark over Interstate 880 to downtown.

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The Athletics were founded in 1901 in Philadelphia and were a charter franchise of the then-new American League.  The team — also known as the A’s — moved to Kansas City for the 1955 season, before eventually settling in Oakland for the 1968 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.