Professional sports teams in Oakland are soon to be a thing of the past after the Oakland Athletics’ announcement that they have committed to a move to Las Vegas. The plan from the Johh Fisher-led ownership group to gut the team, refuse to renovate the stadium and dart to another city has left baseball fans everywhere upset, including Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis.
Yes, the Raiders also left Oakland (twice) and now call Las Vegas home. But the way the Athletics went about it has angered Davis greatly, according to John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Journal-Review.
“I won’t forget what they did to us in Oakland. They squatted on a lease for 10 years and made it impossible for us to build on that stadium,” Davis said, Las Vegas Journal-Review. “They were looking for a stadium. We were looking for a stadium. They didn’t want to build a stadium, and then went ahead and signed a 10-year lease with the city of Oakland and said, ‘We’re the base team.’”
The inability to get along between the Raiders and Athletics helped play a part in the former’s move to a new city. Davis added that the Athletics propped themselves up as the team for the city of Oakland. That take certainly went cold in a hurry.
“They marketed the team as ‘Rooted in Oakland,’ that’s been their mantra through the whole thing,” Davis said. “The slogans they’ve been using have been a slap to the face of the Raiders, and they were trying to win over that type of mentality in the Bay Area. Well, all they did was f**k the Bay Area.”
Say what you will about the Raiders leaving Oakland but the way that the Athletics have gone about it has been inexcusably disrespectful. On top of having spent more time in the city than the Raiders did — they have been there since 1968 — they made the team unwatchable over the years by trading all of their key players and then blamed poor fan attendance as a factor in relocation. Coming from an ownership group with possums living in its stadium, this is just insanely shameless.
Along with the Raiders leaving and the Athletics following, the Golden State Warriors also left Oakland to set up shop in San Francisco. Oakland sports fans have been dragged all the way through the mud and deserve better.
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