MLB owners unanimously voted to approve the Oakland Athletics’ move to Las Vegas, which in some sense brought about a bit of finality and clarity for the franchise.
A’s owner John Fisher had long been open about his preference to move the franchise out of Oakland, much to the dismay of a loyal fanbase. That includes Los Angeles Dodgers analyst Dontrelle Willis, who was born in Oakland and grew up in Alameda.
Willis attended Encinal High School and is an alumnus of Alameda Boys & Girls Club, which he continues to support along with other children’s causes in the area.
Following news of owners approving Oakland’s move, Willis expressed his disappointment on social media.
Hurts 😔 pic.twitter.com/xM5pEE5oG3
— Dontrelle Willis (@DTrainMLB) November 16, 2023
— Dontrelle Willis (@DTrainMLB) November 18, 2023
The Athletics are becoming the first MLB team to relocate since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington D.C., in 2005, when they rebranded as the Nationals. Prior to that, the last MLB team to change cities was the Washington Senators, who became the Texas Rangers in 1972.
While a vote has been held, the A’s are still due to play their home games at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum during the 2024 season. What unfolds beyond that point has not yet been decided. The team could extend their lease or explore options for a temporary site.
The Athletics are set to open their new ballpark for the 2028 season at the site of the Tropicana Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Athletics are the last remaining men’s professional sports team in Oakland. The city recently lost the Raiders to Las Vegas as well.
John Fisher statement on moving A’s to Las Vegas
Following the vote at the owners meetings in Arlington, Fisher shared a sentiment of gratitude and regret.
“I want to express my gratitude to the owners and Commissioner for their thoughtful deliberation and positive votes in favor of our relocation to Las Vegas,” he said in a statement.
“Today marks a significant moment for our franchise, and it’s met with mixed emotions – sadness for this change and excitement for our future. I know this is a hard day for our fans in Oakland. We made sincere efforts to keep our team in Oakland, but unfortunately, it did not work out.
“I am grateful to the fans who have supported our team throughout the years and the home Oakland provided. The storied history of our franchise includes three cities over the past century: Oakland, along with Kansas City and Philadelphia, will always be part of this franchise’s DNA.
“We are excited to begin this next chapter in Las Vegas. I want to thank the Las Vegas and Nevada community for welcoming us. We will continue to work hard to bring home more championships for our fans and for our new home in Vegas.”
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