Athletics’ Ownership May Not Be Sold On Oakland

Kaval has his doubts.

There was an article in the Los Angeles Times recently entitled. Keep the A’s in Oakland? Is the Bay Area a viable two-team market? That may be a good question to ask even though the San Francisco Designated Market Area, which includes San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose has more than 2.3 million TV homes and is ranked sixth in the nation behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas-Fort Worth. The Bay Area is the smallest of the three cities that house two Major League Baseball teams. Oakland Athletics ownership wants to build a stadium along with a village on the Oakland waterfront but Oakland elected officials have not chipped in enough public money for the Athletics ownership’s liking. Even with a new stadium, the Athletics President Dave Kaval isn’t sure that will be enough to get customers to go to A’s games. Oakland offers a better TV market and Silicon Valley money for Athletics’ ownership group. Las Vegas is throwing out the red carpet for Kaval, local businesses are showing him possible Las Vegas stadium sites but there is a major problem. Las Vegas would be the smallest Major League Baseball TV market and it would be an obstacle. The TV money is not there.

“I think a stadium is necessary. It may not be sufficient.” Kaval said of Oakland.  The team president admitted his business evaluation of Las Vegas is in the “pretty early” stage. He said the team has commissioned a market feasibility study to find out if enough tourists would go to enough games to make the business financially viable. Depending on tourists to go to games is an extremely risky venture. Teams want customers they can count upon. They will spend money. Tourists are not going to be a reliable source of revenue. However, Athletics ownership may not be sold on Oakland.

FILE – This rendering provided by the Oakland Athletics and BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group shows an elevated view of the baseball club’s proposed new at Howard Terminal in Oakland, Calif. The Oakland City Council approved preliminary terms for a new $12 billion waterfront ballpark project for the Athletics, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. But it’s not clear if the 6-1 vote will be enough to keep the A’s at the negotiating table instead of leaving the city. (Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group/Oakland Athletics via AP, File)