Thousands of Oakland A's fans expected to protest season opener

Tara Campbell Image
Thursday, March 28, 2024
Thousands of Oakland A's fans expected to protest season opener
A's fans are planning a "Summer of Boycott" protest tailgate at the Oakland Coliseum parking lot on Thursday.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- There is some serious tension building before Thursday's Oakland A's opening day game, as fans are once again planning a major boycott and choosing not to attend as part of their long-running pushback over the team's potential move to Las Vegas.

"It's to make a statement on the largest scale, on the biggest game of the year - which is opening day," said Bryan Johansen, founder of the Last Dive Bar, which is an A's fan group leading what's being called the "Summer of Boycott."

"It's to show that there is support," said Johansen. "There's going to be 20,000 people-strong in that parking lot. So it's to send a message and send a statement: The fans are here, the fans organized this," he said, noting it's also a chance for fans to get out and have some fun.

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"You're going to have multiple tailgates going off, we'll have a centralized boycott little area where we're going to have games, we're giving away 5,000 sell flags, a thousand boycott pins, we have food vendors showing up."

But amidst all festivities is also some concern, as the A's have decided not to open the parking lot until just two hours before the game.

"This year when they announced a much later opening time, there's been a lot of community concern about whether there would be backups, about whether it would cause congestion and population and harmful impacts on the surrounding communities," said Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan.

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"We have asked that the A's open earlier just like they did last year in order to ensure the community is well served," said Kaplan. "We have not yet heard a response, and we also know that many in the community are making that same request."

Mayor Sheng Thao's Office responded to our request asking about plans to control traffic and keep the public safe, in a statement reading in part: "I'm proud of the A's fans' efforts to demonstrate to the baseball world that professional baseball belongs in Oakland."

Meanwhile, fans are hoping the A's organization will end up playing ball and open the parking lot earlier.

"But, as of right now it's 5 p.m., and if it's 5 p.m. then that's when we'll go in," said Johansen. "And, that's when it starts, and we'll be doing it all game long, and we're hoping for extra innings so we can keep the party going all night long."

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