More than 27,000 Oakland A's fans show up for reverse boycott urging owner to sell team

ByJ.R. Stone and Casey Pratt KGO logo
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
More than 27K Oakland A's fans come out for reverse boycott
Oakland A's fans gathered at the Coliseum for Tuesday night's game to protest against the team's ownership.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- As Nevada lawmakers debate on whether or not to approve a plan that would bring the team to Las Vegas, thousands of Oakland Athletics fans descended upon the Coliseum for what they call a reverse boycott.

A protest of the ownership group with a clear message: Sell the team to someone who will keep them in Oakland.

"Sell the team" were three words chanted over and over again before, during, and after Tuesday's Oakland Athletics game.

VIDEO: Oakland mayor shows her support for reverse boycott at A's game

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao expressed her support to A's fans showing up for Tuesday's reverse boycott and reiterated her want to keep the team in The Town.

Thousands of Oakland A's fans wore shirts that said 'Sell'. In total, 27,759 fans were in attendance Tuesday evening.

"I want Fisher to sell the team. I want the A's to stay in Oakland," said Christy Shirilla.

Shirilla's thoughts there were echoed by every person we talked to. Those who held signs that said,

"More baseball, less greed!" said Mark Kik.

"Says Rooted in Oakland, my..." said Charlette Fuggetta.

Well, you get the point.

"I'm just sick and tired of seeing this city lose teams man. And now them? Enough is enough dude!" said Christian Allen.

Yes the frustration and sadness was evident amongst A's fans. This sign said, '2 sad 2 be clever, Oakland Forever.'

EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Sheng Thao says she's fighting for A's to stay in Oakland

"As I was taking BART, I was coming from the MacArthur stop and fans were getting on and it felt really emotional," said Shirilla.

While attendance has been down in recent seasons, these fans won't take the blame for that.

"They tanked the team, they let guys go, they raised the ticket prices, they flirted with relocation. We never wanted them to leave," said Dustin Kayser.

The halls of the Oakland Coliseum were shoulder to shoulder during the game Tuesday. Vegas may seem close, but deep down those here believe that maybe, just maybe the team will stay.

"I'm hoping today makes a difference," said Geneva Desin.

"It's sad. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm a little bit hopeful like the little-ish bit," said Shirilla.

"I would hope that the Major League Baseball owners would maybe step in and stand up for what is right because you can't do this to this fan base, there's too much love here," said Kayser.

Meanwhile, it appears the A's are getting closer to what they want in Las Vegas.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Nevada State Senate passed an amended bill that provides up to $380 million in public funding for a ballpark on the strip.

Several lawmakers who publicly ripped the proposal last week, changed their votes Tuesday when the A's enhanced the community benefits package and items not related to the ballpark were added.

The legislation is now being considered by the Assembly - if approved there, it goes to the Governor Joe Lombardo, who has vowed to sign it - but that was before the Democrat-backed amendments were attached.

Bay City News Service contributed to this article.

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