MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that the Oakland A's need to know by this summer where they will playing in 2025 so that the league can begin creating a schedule.
“We need to, in the next few months, know,” Manfred said, via The Athletic, after the MLB owners meetings. “It’s hard, even scheduling — although it’s clearly going to be someplace in the West — you know, there’s a difference between some places in the West and other places in the West.”
A's owner John Fisher has plans to move the franchise to Las Vegas for the 2028 season. As of now, there is no plan in place for where the team will play home games between 2025 and 2027.
The A's current lease at Oakland Coliseum runs through the 2024 MLB season.
“I’m comfortable with where they are in the process,” Manfred said. “They have options, and you know, I think they’re doing a good job of exploring them and making sure we find the best possible opportunity.”
Manfred added that he would be "disappointed just in the sense I think it’s the best for the A's and the best for the game" if the team is not in its proposed Las Vegas stadium by 2028.
The A's announced in May an agreement to build a 30,000-seat stadium on the Las Vegas strip after acquiring $380 million in state government financing, as well as unanimous approval from MLB owners to move the franchise. Stadium plans — or even renderings — have yet to be released.
Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman said this week on the "Front Office Sports Today" podcast that the A's moving to the city "doesn't make sense," and "they’ve got to figure out a way to stay in Oakland." She later released a statement attempting to clarify her comments, but it only added to an already messy situation.
Negative fan reaction continues to build
After a summer of pushing Fisher to sell the team, A's fans are planning a boycott of the team's home opener on March 28 against the Cleveland Guardians by tailgating in the parking lot outside of Oakland Coliseum but not going inside.
Organizers have encouraged that any money that would've been spent on tickets be donated to the Schools Over Stadiums group in Nevada that is trying to block public funds from going toward the Las Vegas project.
In response to a potentially thin Opening Day crowd, the A's are holding a buy one, get one free ticket promotion for the game.
The A's averaged an MLB-worst 10,275 fans at home games last season, and with the team's future in the city in doubt, it could be an ugly and sparse gathering inside the Coliseum for their 81 regular-season home games in 2024.