The Oakland Athletics are reported to be exploring possible relocation options with the approval of Major League Baseball.
Sources familiar with the dealings told ESPN that the move could put pressure on local government officials to approve plans for a new stadium project, which has been in flux for several years.
The A’s have played in Oakland since 1968 — having previously played in Kansas City from 1955-1967 and Philadelphia from 1901-1954 — and spent the majority of that span at their current stadium, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The organization has prioritized building a waterfront stadium in downtown Oakland at the Howard Terminal site, but has hit several snags over the years and are now taking relocation options seriously.
“The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark,” A’s owner John Fisher said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB’s direction to explore other markets.”
The A’s are the lone remaining sports franchise in Oakland after the NBA’s Golden State Warriors moved back across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco and the Raiders relocated to Las Vegas.
The new stadium project, which has been in discussion for two decades, has reportedly included multiple sites in Oakland, as well as several other nearby cities including Fremont and San Jose.