A wealthy ownership group looking for a new baseball team in Oakland should make itself known sooner rather than later, as Oakland is high on the list for an expansion team in 2025, according to senior MLB executives.
The A’s might decamp to Las Vegas — something the MLB will formally vote on in November — but Oakland might not have to go without a major league team for long. There’s still the large expense of building a new ballpark, and new owners would have to raise a $2 billion expansion fee, but it’s possible.
USA Today’s baseball column had the news of the MLB executive’s comments buried at the bottom of the column — saying that Oakland and Nashville would both be high on the list if the leagues decide to add two new teams for 2025.
Former A’s star Dave Stewart, who wants to back a Nashville team, tells Bay Area News Group, “If there’s an ownership group that’s trying to get a team in Oakland, they need to vote themselves out and set up meetings right now with the commissioner and show why Oakland is viable for an expansion team and what they plan to do as an ownership group.”
It seems strange that someone would have to sell Oakland as an “expansion city,” given it has been home to a Major League team since 1968. But Stewart suggests that is Oakland’s best plan going forward. “Extension is moving. It will not wait for a group from Oakland to show itself in 2025,” Stewart told the news group. “It’s my belief in 2025, expansion will be on the way and Oakland will miss it.”
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has reportedly expressed support for an expansion bid.
Back in late 2021, Oakland selected the African American Sports and Entertainment Group to enter into exclusive negotiations to redevelop the lands surrounding the Coliseum. At the time, the group suggested it would work to bring a new NFL team to Oakland — pending NFL expansion — as well as a WNBA team.
Earlier this month, the group put forward a $5 billion plan and an offer to buy out the A’s stake in the Coliseum, something owner John Fisher said he was not interested in in his letter to the owners of A, the AASEG said it was interested in “accelerating the future redevelopment” of the 155 hectare Coliseum site, and it wants to negotiate the terms of a possible buyout.
Meanwhile, the A’s lease at the Coliseum expires next year, and pending some extension, the team is mulling options to play elsewhere for a few seasons — including, possibly, sharing Oracle Park with the Giants.
Related: The A’s could share Oracle Park with the Giants in 2025
Photo: Matt Dodd
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