The Athletics are leaving Oakland. Here’s what you need to know:

The Oakland Coliseum

OAKLAND – The Oakland Athletics have announced that they will say their goodbyes to the city after the 2026 season. Several fans and citizens were disappointed and irate. Though some saw this coming, the fans and citizens still felt betrayed by their city. Among these people is Sheng Thao, the mayor of Oakland. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Thao stated, “I am deeply disappointed that the A’s have chosen not to negotiate with the City of Oakland as a true partner, in a way that respects the long relationship between the fans, the City and the team.” 

The mayor’s statement, however, contradicts what the Athletics said in their public statement. In this, they state that “The A’s have signed a binding agreement to purchase land for a future ballpark in Las Vegas. We realize this is a difficult day for our Oakland fans and community. For more than 20 years, the A’s have focused on securing a new home for the Club, and have invested unprecedented time and resources for the past six years to build a ballpark in Oakland. Even with support from fans, leaders at the city, county, and state level, and throughout the broader community, the process to build a new ballpark in Oakland has made little forward progress for some time. We have made a strong and sincere effort to stay here.”

The major puzzle piece in a team moving is where the stadium they will play in next. The New York Times says, “The deal on the 49-acre site in Nevada, which the team’s president, Dave Kaval, confirmed Wednesday night, will seemingly end years of tense negotiations for a new stadium in the Bay Area, an investment the team insisted it needed to remain financially viable and competitive with its peers in Major League Baseball.”

CBS Sports says that the A’s could be so fed up in Oakland that they may move into their Triple A teams ballpark to wait for the new stadium, instead of waiting it out in Oakland. “A’s president Dave Kaval told The New York Times that the A’s could play their home games at Las Vegas Ballpark, which is currently the home of the A’s triple-A affiliate in the  Las Vegas Aviators.” 

The A’s lease to the Coliseum ends after the 2024 season, and the Las Vegas stadium is set to open in 2027, which leaves three years of uncertainty on where they will play next season. The A’s average attendance last year at the Oakland Coliseum was just 9, 973 people. This year their average attendance as of May 11th, is 10,130. Oakland has been last in attendance for the last two seasons and are on track for a third finish in last this year. The current capacity for Las Vegas Ballpark, host of the A’s current minor league team, is 10,000, a very similar number. If the A’s leave early, they would hope to engage new fans and/or new audiences to the sport of baseball and the A’s long franchise.

If the A’s do decide to leave for the 2025 season, it wouldn’t be the first time we saw an MLB team relocate to a minor league ballpark. The 2020 Toronto Blue Jays played in their Triple-A ballpark of Sahlen Field because the Canadian Government denied them the right to play in their home stadium of Rogers Centre due to COVID complications.

This begs the question, where would the Aviators play if the A’s came to their ballpark? There is close to no way they stay in Las Vegas as they would be the first and only team out of 120 minor league teams to play in the same city as a major league team.

It is disappointing at least to see a beloved franchise leave their hometown, but it stings when it happens a fourth time. At one point, the city of Oakland had all four major sports, being the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, the Oakland Raiders of the NFL, the California Golden Seals of the NHL, and the Athletics. Though they may have teams close by in San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento, it will never be the same until they maybe receive another team.