Major League Baseball Needs To Do Something About Oakland and Quickly.
Las Vegas doesn’t seem too thrilled about the prospect of the taxpayers funding a lavish stadium after they already shouldered a heavy burden for Allegiant Stadium for the Raiders.
The Oakland Athletics are mired in a very serious situation as word is from Carolyn Goodman is that: “The Athletics should try to remain in Oakland” which basically means: We don’t have the money for you to come here.
Oakland is in a very bad predicament with the team scheduled to play at Oakland Coliseum, a decrepit pit of disrepair, for just one more season, and there are absolutely no plans to remodel or to extend the lease for the stadium. Major League Baseball should start thinking about a few options that could either save the team and ultimately move it or just get rid of the team all together.
It’s pretty much cut and dry that the Oakland City Government and the State of California do not have the funds to give the team a new stadium. Oakland is crime-ridden and Sheng Thao, the Mayor of Oakland, even admitted there’s no money available but she doesn’t want the team to move.
Las Vegas has been a hot ticket destination for the last few years for sports as the Golden Knights came to town in 2017 (even almost winning the Stanley Cup in their first season), then the Raiders in 2020, and now the Athletics are scheduled to move to Las Vegas depending on a few factors. The move has been approved, but just when are they going to?
So now, Major League Baseball needs to move fast on this situation with the Oakland Athletics as the season approaches. It’s apparent and inevitable there’s no way out of this situation.
Option 1: Investigation of the Owner, Team’s budget, and Possible New Ownership
My belief is that the current owner John Fisher pretty much does not have the liquid cash or funding available to fund the teams moves or stadium renovations. Fisher has a net worth of $2,100,000,000 but how much in liquid cash does he truly have to run the team? Like the late Art Modell, if he has financial hardships, the MLB should direct the sale of the Athletics or the commissioner of baseball (with the help of the other 29 franchises) should take control of it until new ownership is found. I think MLB should take the immediate step of investigating the Athletics’ assets, cash flow, revenues against expenditures, and other business. This might be the most keen option to take.
Option 2: Call it the final season, close the franchise down, and disperse the players in a dispersal draft before next Major League Baseball season
This is probably the most extreme of the options but the MLB should consider contracting the Oakland Athletics and dispersing the players through a dispersal draft. Again, I don’t think the MLB is going down this route but it should be considered the last resort if the extreme comes to the extreme.
Option 3: Continue with the move to Las Vegas but find some other form of financing for the stadium
While Carolyn Goodman, the Mayor of Las Vegas, is not a big fan of the Athletics coming, Sin City could in fact use another tax revenue source with the Athletics coming to the city (move’s been approved, Madam Mayor). But a demand should be that it should be privately funded and the taxpayers should only shoulder about maybe 5 to 10% of the total cost of the stadium.
At this point, no one knows what’s going to happen and Oakland doesn’t have a prayer to keep the team unless someone does a hostile takeover and kicks John Fisher out. So… what is the MLB going to do?