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Oakland A's to explore relocation
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CitrusUCF Offline
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Oakland A's to explore relocation

05-11-2021 01:38 PM
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CitrusUCF Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
Personally, I kind of doubt that Las Vegas can support an MLB team on top of the NFL and NHL. It's the most expensive franchise to have and requires the most corporate financial support. I'd tend to think Portland is easily the best available market. Behind that, Montreal is obviously a player, and then I'd assume Austin and Charlotte are the next best US markets.
05-11-2021 01:41 PM
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BePcr07 Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
The cross-country movers: Philadelphia > Kansas City > Oakland. I'd be concerned about Las Vegas. The city has had a AAA team for nearly 40 years and I'm not sure moving a MLB franchise there would help either team. My guess is they find a way to stay. If they do move, I'd look for them to stay West and my top two options would be Portland and Vancouver.
05-11-2021 02:00 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
(05-11-2021 01:41 PM)CitrusUCF Wrote:  Personally, I kind of doubt that Las Vegas can support an MLB team on top of the NFL and NHL. It's the most expensive franchise to have and requires the most corporate financial support. I'd tend to think Portland is easily the best available market. Behind that, Montreal is obviously a player, and then I'd assume Austin and Charlotte are the next best US markets.

Three things will distinguish viable potential markets from fantasy markets:

1) Who's going to pay for a brand-new MLB ballpark -- how much taxpayer money will a city/county/state give to a club owner toward the $1 billion-plus cost of a ballpark.

2) How much local revenue is available -- ticket revenue, sponsorship revenue, local TV money.

3) Relocation costs -- The NFL has charged a relocation fee to each of the last three franchises to move, $550 million each for the Rams and Chargers and $378 million for the Raiders. Any place the A's or Rays move to that is more than about 100 miles from where they are now would take away a potential expansion city (and a potential expansion fee of $1.5 billion or more), so MLB would definitely want a relo fee.

The exception is a move that's close enough that it doesn't take away a new market -- e.g., the A's moving to Sacramento or the Rays moving to Orlando. For those moves, I think the club could persuade MLB to not charge a relo fee.

IMO the relocation fee factor means Sacramento would be the A's leading candidate unless other cities/states offer a ton of stadium money and Sacramento offers none.

Montreal has no chance -- can't see there being enough local revenue compared to US markets.

I'm skeptical about Vegas for the same reasons Citrus is. They're still ramping up to support new NFL and NHL teams, and the market is relatively small (half the size of Phoenix) and doesn't have a lot of wealthy people.

Portland is slightly larger than Vegas but a better candidate because there are more affluent people in that market and only one "major" pro team there now.

Part of what MLB and the A's did today is send the signal that any group who actually has that much money available should feel free to go public and let MLB and Fisher assess whether they are potentially legitimate purchasers. One such group might be an investment fund called RedBall that negotiated to buy a share of the Red Sox but then backed out last year. A's president Billy Beane is one of the RedBall investors.
05-11-2021 05:30 PM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
I say move to Portland, Oregon. Then they only have to change the first syllable of their name.

Now if the A's head back east, to say, Nashville, then we have a great opportunity for geographic realignment!

American League
North: Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays
South: Atlanta Firebirds, Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals
West: Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Spiders, Detroit Tigers, Nashville Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates

National League
North: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals
South: Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers
West: Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners

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05-11-2021 08:13 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
MLB has a rule that any club can veto a league switch and stay in their current league. Even if every other club wants them to move and the vote is 29-1, their "1" is enough to block it. No one could convince each of 14 different teams to move from one league to the other.
05-11-2021 09:24 PM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
(05-11-2021 09:24 PM)Wedge Wrote:  MLB has a rule that any club can veto a league switch and stay in their current league. Even if every other club wants them to move and the vote is 29-1, their "1" is enough to block it. No one could convince each of 14 different teams to move from one league to the other.

Then you just call them American and National Conferences. Or just Eastern and Western Conferences. But practically speaking, it's true that you'd need buy-in from a vast majority of the teams for such a realignment. Once the DH becomes universal, there will be even less resistance to dissolving the traditional AL/NL structure.
05-11-2021 09:49 PM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
My preferred series of developments is the A's moving to Portland, the Rays moving to Tampa proper, and expansion teams in Montreal and North Carolina (Charlotte most likely, but the Raleigh-Durham area could work). Then MLB could keep its traditional AL/NL divide and align the teams in each league into 4 divisions, NFL-style. But an even better solution would be full geographic realignment, with an eastern league/conference and a western one. I suggest retaining the AL and NL names for these groups as a bone for the traditionalists, but the names don't matter so much to me. In the geographic realignment scenario, you could go with 8 divisions of 4, or 4 divisions of 8. Either could work.
05-11-2021 09:57 PM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
If "Rooted in Oakland" doesn't work out for them in Oakland then I don't know what could work for them over there.
05-11-2021 10:04 PM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
"Traditional" MLB-32:

American League
Atlantic: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays
East: Cleveland Spiders, Detroit Tigers, Montreal Expos, Toronto Blue Jays
Central: Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers
West: Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, Portland Athletics, Seattle Mariners

National League
Atlantic: Miami Marlins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates
East: Atlanta Firebirds, Carolina Cougars, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals
Central: Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals
West: Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants

Geographic MLB-32 (8x4):

American League
East: Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies
North: Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays
South: Atlanta Firebirds, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Carolina Cougars
West: Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Spiders, Pittsburgh Pirates

National League
East: Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers
North: Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins
South: Seattle Mariners, Portland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies
West: San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks

Geographic MLB-32 (4x8):

American League
East: Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays
West: Atlanta Firebirds, Baltimore Orioles, Carolina Cougars, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Spiders, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals

National League
East: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers
West: Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Portland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners
05-11-2021 10:19 PM
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Erictelevision Online
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
They'd NEVER put both NY teams in 1 league. Your "traditional" alignment is TERRIFIC!
05-11-2021 11:27 PM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
(05-11-2021 11:27 PM)Erictelevision Wrote:  They'd NEVER put both NY teams in 1 league. Your "traditional" alignment is TERRIFIC!

Why wouldn't they? How do the NBA and NHL manage with all their NYC area teams in the same division?
05-11-2021 11:51 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
(05-11-2021 09:49 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  
(05-11-2021 09:24 PM)Wedge Wrote:  MLB has a rule that any club can veto a league switch and stay in their current league. Even if every other club wants them to move and the vote is 29-1, their "1" is enough to block it. No one could convince each of 14 different teams to move from one league to the other.

Then you just call them American and National Conferences. Or just Eastern and Western Conferences. But practically speaking, it's true that you'd need buy-in from a vast majority of the teams for such a realignment. Once the DH becomes universal, there will be even less resistance to dissolving the traditional AL/NL structure.

It's baseball. Too many people still care about league identity, even if the NL uses the DH, and that identity is worth money to a lot of teams. The Dodgers and Giants are National League teams, not "Western Conference" teams. The Yankees and Red Sox are American League teams, not "Eastern Conference" teams. They are not going to give that up.

There are a couple of clubs who wouldn't mind switching leagues, but that's because of money and the club's own weak tradition. The Marlins would profit in the AL East and sell a lot more tickets with several games each year against the Yankees and Red Sox. But that is an unusual situation.

This isn't ice hockey where you can just change the names of NHL divisions and conferences or move teams from one to the other and nobody cares if they do it.
05-12-2021 12:24 AM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
(05-12-2021 12:24 AM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-11-2021 09:49 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  
(05-11-2021 09:24 PM)Wedge Wrote:  MLB has a rule that any club can veto a league switch and stay in their current league. Even if every other club wants them to move and the vote is 29-1, their "1" is enough to block it. No one could convince each of 14 different teams to move from one league to the other.

Then you just call them American and National Conferences. Or just Eastern and Western Conferences. But practically speaking, it's true that you'd need buy-in from a vast majority of the teams for such a realignment. Once the DH becomes universal, there will be even less resistance to dissolving the traditional AL/NL structure.

It's baseball. Too many people still care about league identity, even if the NL uses the DH, and that identity is worth money to a lot of teams. The Dodgers and Giants are National League teams, not "Western Conference" teams. The Yankees and Red Sox are American League teams, not "Eastern Conference" teams. They are not going to give that up.

There are a couple of clubs who wouldn't mind switching leagues, but that's because of money and the club's own weak tradition. The Marlins would profit in the AL East and sell a lot more tickets with several games each year against the Yankees and Red Sox. But that is an unusual situation.

This isn't ice hockey where you can just change the names of NHL divisions and conferences or move teams from one to the other and nobody cares if they do it.

I'm definitely aware of the persistence of the traditionalist mindset among baseball fans, which makes change hard to effect. In the case of a geographic realignment though, I think it's to the benefit of the league, and so eventually there may be a critical mass of supporters in the right places to initiate such a realignment. I'm not especially optimistic, however.

Also, FWIW, if the eastern half is the AL and the western the NL, then the historically most dominant franchises, like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Giants (as well as the Cubs and Cards), can stay in their current leagues.
(This post was last modified: 05-12-2021 05:15 AM by Nerdlinger.)
05-12-2021 05:14 AM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
(05-11-2021 05:30 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-11-2021 01:41 PM)CitrusUCF Wrote:  Personally, I kind of doubt that Las Vegas can support an MLB team on top of the NFL and NHL. It's the most expensive franchise to have and requires the most corporate financial support. I'd tend to think Portland is easily the best available market. Behind that, Montreal is obviously a player, and then I'd assume Austin and Charlotte are the next best US markets.

Three things will distinguish viable potential markets from fantasy markets:

1) Who's going to pay for a brand-new MLB ballpark -- how much taxpayer money will a city/county/state give to a club owner toward the $1 billion-plus cost of a ballpark.

2) How much local revenue is available -- ticket revenue, sponsorship revenue, local TV money.

3) Relocation costs -- The NFL has charged a relocation fee to each of the last three franchises to move, $550 million each for the Rams and Chargers and $378 million for the Raiders. Any place the A's or Rays move to that is more than about 100 miles from where they are now would take away a potential expansion city (and a potential expansion fee of $1.5 billion or more), so MLB would definitely want a relo fee.

The exception is a move that's close enough that it doesn't take away a new market -- e.g., the A's moving to Sacramento or the Rays moving to Orlando. For those moves, I think the club could persuade MLB to not charge a relo fee.

IMO the relocation fee factor means Sacramento would be the A's leading candidate unless other cities/states offer a ton of stadium money and Sacramento offers none.

Montreal has no chance -- can't see there being enough local revenue compared to US markets.

I'm skeptical about Vegas for the same reasons Citrus is. They're still ramping up to support new NFL and NHL teams, and the market is relatively small (half the size of Phoenix) and doesn't have a lot of wealthy people.

Portland is slightly larger than Vegas but a better candidate because there are more affluent people in that market and only one "major" pro team there now.

Part of what MLB and the A's did today is send the signal that any group who actually has that much money available should feel free to go public and let MLB and Fisher assess whether they are potentially legitimate purchasers. One such group might be an investment fund called RedBall that negotiated to buy a share of the Red Sox but then backed out last year. A's president Billy Beane is one of the RedBall investors.

I wouldn't be so sure about that one.

For one, the NFL is in a different position economically. Secondly, LA was used as a bargaining chip for a long time due to the value of the market. Once it was off the board, the political dynamics change for everyone. That wasn't necessarily so with Las Vegas, but I'm not sure the league really wanted the Raiders to move to Vegas in the first place. That and by that time, a precedent had been set. Can't charge the Rams and Chargers then simply let the Raiders move for free.

Point being, based on the statement yesterday, sounds like the MLB wants the Athletics to move. If that is the case then they won't disincentivize them to do so. Has MLB ever charged a fee like this before? I'm not aware that they have. I wouldn't suspect them to start now. If for no other reason then there is no history of employing that tactic.

The league will limit the A's options, I agree, but it sounds like Oakland isn't well thought of anymore. The Raiders are gone, the Warriors are gone. Can't really blame MLB for that perspective.

As some have pointed out, the A's could also leave CA and decrease their costs with a new facility. What would be a $1.2 billion facility in a weakening market like Oakland could be significantly less elsewhere. If the A's want to leave then I don't think Sacramento is viable.

I don't think Vegas is viable either as we're probably talking about a closed roof stadium in that scenario. That's before we consider the value of the market itself and it's clearly limited.

Taking away a new market seems to be a low priority. Will the MLB ever truly consider expanding again? I doubt it. At this point, it's better to make sure all 30 clubs have the best finances possible. In reality, the MLB may have been stoking interests in Portland and other places behind the scenes just so they could test the market for relocation.
05-12-2021 02:14 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
Owners want to expand when they want a quick injection of cash for each existing franchise. They will want two more teams at some point.

Fisher wants to move the A's, or sell to someone who would move, and MLB is giving him cover by issuing a statement that makes it sound like that's what MLB wants.

The A's proposal for a new Oakland ballpark is a sham. When it was unveiled I said they would never build it. Too impractical, too many difficulties with the site regardless of who pays for it. At the time I thought it was a ploy to get the city to pay for a new ballpark at the Coliseum site, but now it's clear the waterfront ballpark plan is a charade used to pretend Fisher wanted to try to keep the team in Oakland.

Selling to a new owner who wants to relocate the A's would net the most money, because someone whose ambition is to get a team for "their" city, whatever city it is, will pay more than market value for the opportunity. (As an aside: That's also why the Minnesota Timberwolves owner will never get as much money as he's hoping to get, unless he sells to someone who would move the team to Seattle or wherever.) That's the way to go, *if* Fisher finds a group from another city that actually has the money rather than someone who has more hope than money.
05-12-2021 02:56 PM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
I wonder if any players in NC want go for getting that franchise to relocate to NC.... Charlotte or RDU would have to be the spots...
05-12-2021 06:06 PM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
Atlanta and St. Louis will want to keep the A's out of Nashville. The Reds and Cubs probably feel the same way, just not as strongly. Charlotte would probably be easier to pick off (Atlanta, Washington). That said MLB would be the last price of the puzzle for a full-time Bally Sports Tennessee or Bally Sports Carolinas.

There may be some logic in keeping the A's out west. MLB just got fresh off rearranging the minor leagues to their liking - and while Las Vegas is an easily accessible destination by air for players being called up/sent down, the point of the exercise was to have affiliates near their parent teams.

Now that said, it might make sense for the A's and Aviators to swap - except Las Vegas Ballpark would need entire streets removed to be expanded, especially since City National Arena boxes the facility in on one side. The Arizona Diamondbacks have Las Vegas in their coverage area with Bally, as do the Colorado Rockies with AT&T, so unless if Bally, AT&T, or NBC (current RSN rights holder) wants to start a Las Vegas-specific network, the TV situation may be messy.

Portland would be far more likely. Only the Mariners would have territory issues, and they would probably like to have a rival in driving distance. The High-A West Hillsboro Hops could theoretically stay put, or if their stadium is cannibalized, they can move back to Yakima, Washington, or move to Salem, Oregon to become the replacement for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. NBC Sports Northwest would be the likely regional TV partner, given the A's are on NBC Sports California now.
05-12-2021 06:29 PM
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TardisCaptain Offline
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
I first heard about this on twitter when some local fans were pushing the #MLBtoSLC hashtag to promote Salt Lake as an option.
05-12-2021 06:35 PM
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RE: Oakland A's to explore relocation
(05-12-2021 06:35 PM)TardisCaptain Wrote:  I first heard about this on twitter when some local fans were pushing the #MLBtoSLC hashtag to promote Salt Lake as an option.

How is the MLB fandom in Salt Lake? I mean the Jazz have done well but they are the only ticket out there.
05-12-2021 08:37 PM
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