MLB Commissioner Adamant Over A’s Stadium Saga: ‘It Needs to Happen Now’

Jul 19, 2022, 3:19 PM | Updated: Nov 11, 2022, 12:03 pm
Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images...
Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was stern when it came to the Oakland Athletics’ stadium woes, wanting the club to find a new ballpark in the Bay Area, or risk relocation in the near future.

Speaking to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Tuesday in Los Angeles, Manfred discusess both the A’s and Tampa Bay Rays stadium issues as both franchises are looking to build new stadiums in the near future.

The A’s have played at the Coliseum since 1968 and their lease expires after the 2024 season.

“I was at the Coliseum myself recently,” Manfred said Tuesday. “The condition of the Coliseum is a really serious problem for us. I’ve said it, this is not news. It is not a major league-quality facility at this point.”

The Athletics and owner John Fisher have been working diligently with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to build a new waterfront stadium at Howard Terminal that would cost more than $1 billion. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission voted in June to remove the “port priority use designation” from the 56-acre terminal at the Port of Oakland, making it a mixed-use area where a new ballpark could be built.

But while an Oakland City Council vote on any potential ballpark will most likely occur later this year, Fisher and his team president Dave Kaval have been scouting building sites in Las Vegas, if Oakland and the franchise can’t come to an agreement soon.

“Mayor Schaaf continues to work hard to try to get an arrangement, an agreement to develop the Howard Terminal site,” Manfred continued. “I’m hopeful that that can still happen. And I said this recently and I’ll repeat, it needs to happen now. It needs to be done.”

“Mr. Fisher has to make a decision as to whether he wants to make an agreement or can make an agreement that is approved by the City Council that would keep the A’s in Oakland,” Manfred stated. “If that’s not possible, we have a process that deals with an application for relocation, and I assume that’s where it goes if in fact no agreement can be made in Oakland.”

The MLB and other baseball owners have put off possibly expanding the league from 30 teams to 32 until Oakland and Tampa Bay get deals for new ballparks.

“I need to get Oakland and Tampa resolved before we could realistically have a conversation about expansion,” Manfred said.

The two clubs are among the lowest in home attendance this season, with Oakland being the worst at 8,637 fans on average.


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