Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Las Vegas mayor says Athletics should not relocate despite plans: ‘Figure out a way to stay in Oakland’

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman offered an unexpected opinion on the  Athletics‘ relocation attempts during an appearance on the Front Office Sports Today podcast released Tuesday: she thinks they should stay in Oakland.

Goodman, who has served in her position since July 2011, discussed a variety of topics, including the rise of Las Vegas as a home to multiple professional sports franchises. Naturally, she was asked for her thoughts on the A’s relocation attempts — to which she offered surprising candor.

Indeed, Goodman revealed that she’s developed an odd feeling throughout the process. She said that the A’s relocation plans to the Tropicana site don’t “make sense” to her, explaining that the city had offered the A’s what she believed to be a superior site — one located in a historic part of town that featured seven access points from local highways. The A’s rejected that site, opting instead to be located on The Strip. That decision perturbed the mayor, who repeatedly noted that the area suffers from traffic congestion woes.

“I thought, this does not make sense, and so why is it happening?” Goodman said. “And then I thought, well, because they really want to stay in Oakland, they want to be on the water, they have that magnificent dream. Yet they can’t get it done.”

When the podcast hosts asked Goodman if it would be a “good thing” if the A’s do complete their relocation to Las Vegas, she responded by saying: “I personally think they’ve gotta figure out a way to stay in Oakland and make their dream come true.” 

Goodman added: “I just know that (owner John Fisher) — longtime successful family — in my opinion, needs to listen to the people that are up there. It’s their team.”

Goodman has since clarified her remarks:

“My points included that it is my belief that in their perfect world the ownership of the A’s would like to have a new ballpark on the water in Oakland and that the ownership and government there should listen to their great fans and try to make that dream come true,” she wrote. “Should that fail, Las Vegas has shown that it is a spectacular market for major league sports franchises.”

Goodman’s opinions aside, it’s unclear if remaining in Oakland is a realistic consideration for the A’s at this point in time. The A’s and the City of Oakland have not talked in 10 months, according to a recent report from ESPN.

The A’s, and Fisher in particular, have received pushback from their Oakland fans throughout their relocation attempts, including a reverse boycott last season and plans to do another come Opening Day. Nevertheless, Fisher claimed in August that he has not considered selling the franchise — that despite also claiming that the club has lost “significant money.” 

Fisher’s estimated net worth is $2.9 billion, per Forbes

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