Oakland A's departure to Sacramento sparks disappointment in fans, local leadership

ByJ.R. Stone and Lena Howland KGO logo
Friday, April 5, 2024
A's departure to Sacramento sparks disappointment in fans
There is anger and sadness in Oakland after the Athletics announced they will play the next three seasons in Sacramento before moving to Las Vegas.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- There is anger and sadness in the city of Oakland, the East Bay, and much of the Bay Area after the Oakland Athletics announced they will play the next three seasons in West Sacramento at Sutter Health Park.

That's where the Sacramento River Cats play, the San Francisco Giants' Triple A team. The Athletics' plan is to then go to Las Vegas in 2028 with the hope that by then, their new stadium will be completed.

RELATED: Athletics announce temporary move to Sacramento minor league park before Vegas

"I'm sad they leaving and I'm mad they leaving," said Alvin Joiner of Oakland.

Joiner was one of dozens of Athletics fans and Oakland natives who were enjoying Plank Oakland when we spoke with them Thursday night. One mention of the A's announcement and you could sense the outrage.

"I'm extremely disappointed to hear that. I've been following the A's since I was a young kid," said Rebekah Austin who lives in Oakland.

"The heart, mind, and soul of A's fans has been kicked to the curb by somebody in the form of John Fisher that didn't care about their emotions, and his empty comments about how sad he is to leave Oakland, well draw your own conclusions," said Andy Dolich.

Dolich, who also co-authored the book "Goodbye, Oakland" is referring to current A's owner John Fisher, who on Thursday talked about how excited he was about the interim deal in Sacramento.

Dolich says that Fisher is nothing like former owner Walter Haas who kept the team in Oakland and helped them win a World Series Championship in 1989.

RELATED: What's next for Oakland Coliseum with A's leaving for Sacramento after season ends?

"This is my miniature World Series trophy from 1989 and just to show you the quality of the Haas family. Every single one of us in the organization got one of these so this talks about what was possible, what the Haas' tried to do and what they did and what John Fisher, I don't think John's ever going to have one of these," said Dolich.

The blame game though is strong, especially when it comes to what the city of Oakland and Alameda County leadership did or didn't do.

"This new mayor, I don't think she really know how to play the game when it comes to professional sport teams," said Joiner.

"I love our mayor but I think she has a lot to do, she didn't fight to keep the teams here," said Jimmy Swagg of Oakland.

"It sucks to see another team leave and it feels like our city is failing," said Austin.

"The gut punch that this gives to all of us and I'm one of them having worked there, this is just hard to comprehend that a city loses three major professional sports teams in such a short period of time," said Dolich.

RELATED: Oakland A's say they're 'far apart' with city officials on terms of Coliseum lease extension

Mayor Sheng Thao says that Oakland offered a deal that was fair to the A's and was fiscally responsible.

A's management though saying that both sides were just too far apart.

"It's not surprising. And like the song goes, 'I'm going to kiss you. Let's just say goodbye, and I won't miss you,'" said Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo.

Harsh words from Gallo after the announcement of the move.

"The city taxpayers have invested a great deal of money to keep professional sports here in Oakland. But at the end of the day, whether it was the Warriors, the Raiders or the Oakland A's, they're in it to make more money," Gallo said.

"In my opinion, they're just tired of Oakland. They just want to move on," said Jorge Leon, president of the Oakland 68's. "It really is a black eye for Major League Baseball."

The Oakland 68's, a fan club for the A's who helped lead the fan-led protest to "Sell the Team" over the past year is disappointed.

"You would think that they would understand our fight to try to keep the A's in Oakland. And now, they're facilitating to try to make it easier for the A's to move out of Oakland. So very disappointed is what I would say in Sacramento," Leon said.

And while he can't speak for every A's fan, Leon says he will not be attending any games at Sutter Health Park.

"No, we will not show up for any games in Sacramento. The only way we will show up is to protest," he said.

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