Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, it was reported that the Oakland Athletics baseball franchise has been advised to search for a new home. The news was reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN:
The Oakland Athletics have been in Oakland since 1968. From 1955-1967, the team played in Kansas City. Before that, the team was known as the Philadelphia Athletics. Founded in 1901, it is one of the oldest franchises in the history of sports, let alone baseball. Now, it appears, the team will need to pack up and move again, and soon. Here, we look at potential destinations for the A’s franchise:
Option #1- Oakland
Before going to a whole new city, the Athletics’ franchise would love to just remain where it is. To do this, though, they need a new stadium bill to pass, which has not gotten support from local and state legislators. The bill, which would include a $12 billion mixed-use sports complex, would ensure that the A’s stay in Oakland for years to come. However, the bill has not been moved through the process of law-making, and few have hope that it will ever get the support it needs.
Option #2- Las Vegas
According to the report by Jeff Passan, Las Vegas is the leading candidate to get the Athletics franchise should Oakland fail to build a new stadium. This move makes sense, as the city of Las Vegas has been linked to numerous teams in multiple sports over the past few seasons. They have already gained an expansion NHL team, and the Oakland Raiders moved to Las Vegas last season, too.
As Vegas continues to grow and develop, it is only a matter of time until it has a team in each of the four major sports. They even hosted the NBA All-Star game recently. With one of the best tourist industries in the world, not to mention gambling, Las Vegas would be a destination that could be very attractive to the usual cost-conscious Athletics.
Option #3- Nashville
Believe it or not, one of the cities most baseball enthusiasts want a Major League team in is Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville, home of the Sounds, a Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, has a rich baseball culture and a fanbase desperate for a Major League team. Of course, the Athletics could not use the current Sounds stadium, as it would not be large enough for a Major League fanbase. Nashville would need to build a whole new stadium as well to gain a Major League franchise.
If Nashville were to gain a Major League franchise, it would likely mean the end of the Sounds in Nashville. It is hard to see a Triple-A team getting any revenue if it shares a city with a Major League club. This would not be the worst loss, as many smaller cities could host a Triple-A minor league team.
Option #4- Montreal
Once home the Montreal Expos, the Canadian city has a rich history with Major League Baseball. The Expos, of course, moved to Washington D.C. in 2005 and became the Washington Nationals. Ever since they left Montreal, there have been those who have wanted to bring a team back to Montreal.
They still have a Major League-ready stadium, though it may use some updates. There is also a question of whether or not the team will draw enough attendance to warrant such a move. After all, it was low attendance that caused the team to move in the first place. However, perhaps being without a team has made baseball fans in Montreal more willing to financially support a team?
Option #5- Charlotte
Like Nashville, Charlotte is a great baseball town that may be ready to move up to Big Leagues. For years, the Charlotte Knights have played in the city as an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. They, of course, would need to build a Major League-ready stadium to support such a move, but the feeling among many is that the people of Charlotte would support such a move. If this were to happen, the Knights would likely move out of the city.
Other Possible Options
- Omaha- Small city, but a very big baseball town
- Portland- The region already has the Mariners, and Portland already has an NBA team
- Indianapolis- The city already has an NFL and NBA team; they, too, have been home to a Triple-A team for years
- New Orleans- Like Indianapolis, this city has an NFL and NBA team