MLB TELLS ATHLETICS TO EXPLORE RELOCATION IF NO NEW BALLPARK
AppleMagazine|AppleMagazine #498
Major League Baseball instructed the Athletics to explore relocation options as the team tries to secure a new waterfront ballpark it hopes will keep the club in Oakland long-term.

MLB released a statement Tuesday expressing its longtime determination 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,” MLB said.

“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.”

A’s President Dave Kaval remains hopeful of a deal, but there is a time crunch.

“We’re going to immediately start working with the league on exploring other markets and working hand in hand with them to identify which ones make the most sense and pursuing that right away,” Kaval told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “We need to keep our options open. People know, we can’t even keep the lights on here at the Coliseum.”

In November 2018, the A’s announced they had found a waterfront location for their new ballpark that would cost more than $1 billion, with picturesque views toward San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and Port of Oakland. The goal had been to open in 2023, but now, even if approved by Oakland’s City Council this summer it would not be ready until 2027.

“We’re hopeful that our really exciting plan for a waterfront ballpark that’s privately financed will be taken up by the city council,” Kaval said. “I think it’s something that is kind of a oncea-generational opportunity to re-imagine the waterfront. We’re going to continue to pursue that and we’re still hopeful that that could get approved, but we have to be realistic about where we are with the timelines.”

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