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The Oakland A’s appear to be serious about pursuing relocation, and ownership has a trip planned to Portland.
Less than two weeks ago, MLB gave the Oakland A’s its blessing to pursue relocation. Staying in their current stadium is not tenable, and every effort to get backing for a new ballpark in the Oakland area has been met with resistance and government pushback.
Las Vegas is a prominent possible relocation destination for the A’s, and a trip there that will include owner John Fisher is on the docket this week. Portland has immediately surfaced as a possible move too, and it looks like A’s ownership is going to take a closer look.
According to John Canzano of The Oregonian, an A’s contingent will make an official visit to Portland next month on a fact-finding mission. Fisher, team president David Kaval, vice president Billy Beane and executive Sandy Dean will be on the trip.
MLB rumors: Could Portland actually become the A’s new home?
Las Vegas has some inherent advantages, as the major American sports leagues have started to move franchises there and the stigma attached to gambling is being diminished. As Canzano pointed to, Portland can’t compete with, for lack of a better term, “bright lights and big city” without some major investment in infrastructure and refining its downtown.
But Portland supports an NBA team. There’s also a local project, called the Portland Diamond Project, which is “leading the movement to bring Major League Baseball to Oregon”. According to Canzano, the project owns ballpark renderings and already has an estimated $2 billion-plus in financial commitments.
In Portland, the A’s can be the summertime headliner and not dampen the pro soccer teams in town. In Las Vegas, the NFL’s Raiders and NHL’s Golden Knights aren’t going to be unseated as the leading sports attractions.
The A’s have clearly heeded MLB’s blessing of a serious effort to relocate. Portland surely won’t be the last stop on the fact-finding tour, but that it’s second in line is noteworthy. How does the Portland A’s sound to you? Or, wherever they might relocate to, should they get a new nickname?