In the midst of a 162-game regular season, a lot can happen on and off the field. However, there are very few times when a franchise will engage in plans to build ballparks in two different cities during the 162-game grind. Thats where the Oakland Athletics sit as MLB teams head into the final stretch of the 2021 MLB season.
Oakland informed reporters that the team has embarked on “parallel paths” to build stadiums in Oakland and Las Vegas. Team president Dave Kaval also plans to visit Las Vegas again in the near future to evaluate a potential site as the Athletics threaten to leave Oakland.
“I think we’ve been really clear, I think the league’s been really clear that this site does not fit the 21st-century vision for baseball in North America,” Kaval said.
“You need a downtown urban location to be successful, especially in a two-team market where you have the Giants in a similar stadium on the waterfront, and we’re going to do everything we can to have a stadium that can be at the level or eclipse what they have at Oracle Park in San Francisco. And we have that vision down at Howard Terminal.”
Despite Kaval’s criticism, the city of Oakland approved preliminary terms for a $12 billion waterfront ballpark project earlier this year. Still, the franchise is not satisfied.
“We still remain apart on the economic terms,” Kaval added.
“By the same token, we’re still hopeful to make progress on negotiations with them. But time will tell how that plays out. We’re still getting all the other processes working and hopefully finalized. We’re doing everything we can to make that happen in an acceptable timeline for the league.”
The team’s lease at their current stadium runs out at the end of the 2024 season and the MLB has ruled out rebuilding at the current location. Kaval expects the city to hold another vote on a potential new stadium “later this year.”