Rob Manfred says upgrades are coming to Sutter Health Park

May 28, 2024, 8:57 AM | Updated: 1:34 pm

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The Oakland Athletics will relocate to Sacramento beginning next season, but hurdles remain in ensuring their home ballpark meets MLB standards by Opening Day 2025.

According to Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, Sutter Health Park will receive major-league upgrades–including an entirely new playing surface–before next season begins.

The West Sacramento ballpark is home of the San Francisco Giants’ AAA affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, and both the Athletics and River Cats will share the diamond for at least the next three seasons as the city of Las Vegas begins construction on a stadium.

The target date for completing the Las Vegas ballpark is 2028, but many around the league are skeptical that will come to fruition. This means that MLB and Sacramento will need to upgrade Sutter Health Park for the long haul in case the A’s remain in Northern California past the 2027 season.

Over the weekend, Manfred shared that several upgrades are on the way to ensure that Sutter Health Park is ready for Major League Baseball.

“They are actually constructing a separate building adjacent to the stadium that will be the home clubhouse,” Manfred said Thursday at the conclusion of MLB’s spring owner meetings, per The Athletic‘s Evan Drellich.

“They’re renovating the visiting clubhouse. There’s going to be new artificial turf installed. They are upgrading the camera capability, so they get major-league quality broadcasts out of Sacramento,” Manfred continued. “There are some revenue-associated renovations: some club seating and video boards that are being done in the stadium.

“So, there’s a lot going on there to get it up to snuff for the interim period. They’ve had great receptivity. I think they have seat deposits from, like, 13,000 people or something. They’re doing okay.”

More on the Oakland Athletics relocation to Sacramento

The Oakland Athletics will play three seasons in Sacramento from 2025-27 while awaiting their new digs in Las Vegas.

The deal announced in April includes an option for a fourth season at Sutter Health Park, home of the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.

“On behalf of all of MLB, I want to express my appreciation to West Sacramento, Sutter Health Park, the (NBA’s) Kings, and the greater Sacramento region for their excitement to host the A’s for interim play, as the A’s new permanent home is built in Las Vegas,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement issued on April 5th.

The temporary home in West Sacramento means the current 2024 season will be the last for the A’s at the aging Oakland Coliseum, their home since the 1968 campaign. The lease expires after this season.

“We explored several locations for a temporary home, including the Oakland Coliseum. Even with the long-standing relationship and good intentions on all sides in the negotiations with Oakland, the conditions to achieve an agreement seemed out of reach,” A’s owner and managing partner, John Fisher, said in a statement.

“We understand the disappointment this news brings to our fans, as this season marks our final one in Oakland. Throughout this season, we will honor and celebrate our time in Oakland and share additional details soon.

“We extend our appreciation to the Kings and the City of West Sacramento, and look forward to making Sutter Health Park our home until our new ballpark opens in Las Vegas.”

The River Cats are owned by Vivek Ranadive, owner of the Sacramento Kings.

“I’m thrilled to welcome the A’s to Sutter Health Park, where players and fans alike can enjoy a world-class baseball experience and create unforgettable memories,” Ranadive said. “Today marks the next chapter of professional sports in Sacramento. The passion of our fans is second to none, and this is an incredible opportunity to showcase one of the most dynamic and vibrant markets in the country.”

Major League Baseball approved the Athletics’ proposal for relocation to Las Vegas in November.

Plans are in place for a $1.5 billion, nine-acre stadium at the site of the Tropicana Hotel with the City of Las Vegas granting $380 million in public funding for construction in 2023. However, the ballpark will not open until at least the end of the 2027 calendar year, meaning the first season it could host the A’s in the regular season would be 2028.

Sutter Health Park opened in 2000 and has 10,624 seats, but could be modified to accommodate up to 14,000.

Upcoming schedule for the Oakland Athletics

  • Tuesday, May 28th-Thursday, May 30th – @ Tampa Bay Rays
  • Friday, May 31st-Sunday, June 2nd – @ Atlanta Braves
  • Tuesday, June 4th-Thursday, June 6th – vs. Seattle Mariners
  • Friday, June 7th-Sunday, June 9th – vs. Toronto Blue Jays
  • Monday, June 10th-Wednesday, June 12th – @ San Diego Padres

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