Lew Wolff has given what seems like the final kiss-off to Oakland:
The Oakland A’s have “exhausted” their time and resources with the city of Oakland in a search for a new home, and have “no interest in covering old ground again,” A’s owner Lew Wolff said in a statement released Friday . . .
. . . “We have fully exhausted our time and resources over the years with the city of Oakland, dating back to previous A’s ownership,” he said in the statement. “We recognize conditions have not changed. Letters to Major League Baseball offer nothing new or of any real substance. Outside stimulation to have us continue to play in an aging and shared facility may generate press and ‘sound-bite’ opportunities, but do not provide any tangible alterations in the circumstances we face.”
I’d still like to blame Al Davis for this. True, the Athletics have never drawn stellar crowds in that ballpark, but one can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the A’s could have cozyfied their formerly mixed-use facility the way the Angels did a few years ago. After all, before the addition of those hideous outfield seats to accommodate football, the Coliseum was actually a pretty pleasant place to play. Would some additional upgrades during the original dotcom boom have rendered the A’s the hot ticket they never became? We’ll never know.
In other news, baseball officials may be flirting with Vegas again. Or, at the very least, wanting people to think that they are:
The Oakland A’s are reportedly looking at Las Vegas as a bargaining chip.
There was buzz Sunday that baseball commissioner Bud Selig was meeting with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and A’s executives.
We’ve been over this before, but I’m going to continue to beat this horse until people stop trotting it out: Vegas is a non-option. All together now:
There too many home games in baseball for Vegas to be able to hype it up like it does boxing and other one-off events. Casino interests would not be supportive, because, given that the profits to be had on slot machine pulls > the profits to be had on hot dogs, they are not going to empty their floors of 30-40,000 potential customers 81 nights a year. Also, a disproportionate number of Las Vegas’ population works nights, so locals aren’t going to form a big part of the paying and viewing fan base. Finally, given the sheer size of its housing bubble, its subsequent deflation, and the economic carnage currently afoot, the Las Vegas economy is in no position to be courting, let alone supporting baseball teams.
Sin City is fun to talk about, but it’s simply not going to work as a baseball town any time in the foreseeable future.