A’s Fans Protest Las Vegas Relocation Outside Oakland Coliseum

Posted on: March 29, 2024, 12:39h. 

Last updated on: March 29, 2024, 12:54h.

They probably didn’t outnumber the fans inside Oakland Coliseum, as they hoped to. But the A’s fans who gathered for a rally outside the stadium on Thursday night got their point across…

No news organizations were willing to estimate the size of the crowd protesting the Athletics’ move to Las Vegas on Thursday night. But amateur guessing put it between several hundred and 6K. (Image: Reddit/UnderaZiaSun)

The team’s loyal, decades-strong, hometown fan base does not support the A’s plan to relocate to Las Vegas.

Though 13,522 fans bought tickets to what might have been the ballclub’s last opening day in Oakland, a loud and noticeable chunk of them refused to use them. Instead, they remained in the stadium’s south parking lot, eating free tacos, listening to live music, and wearing T-shirts and waving flags that read “SELL” — a plea to club owner John Fisher to surrender the team to another owner.

No news organizations were willing to estimate the size of the crowd outside, but amateur estimations ranged from several hundred to 6K.

One tent at the rally was staffed by Schools Over Stadiums, a political action committee of the union representing Nevada’s teachers, which is attempting to stop the allocation of $380 million in public funding for construction of a ballpark on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished Tropicana Las Vegas.

Major League Baseball owners in November voted unanimously to approve the Athletics’ move to Las Vegas. And Bally’s, the Rhode Island-based corporation that operates the Tropicana casino hotel, has repeatedly stated its intention to build the team a new, $1.5 billion baseball stadium on nine acres of its 35-acre site.

Mortenson-McCarthy, the construction firm hired by the A’s, told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority last year that they would begin building the ballpark in April 2025, and finish it in time for the start of the 2028 season.

If their new stadium gets built, the A’s still need to decide where to play in the three-year interim. Salt Lake City and Sacramento are two options that have been floated if an agreement can’t be reached with the city of Oakland to extend its lease on the Coliseum beyond this season.

Reaction to Rally

Reaction to Thursday’s rally posted to an Oakland A’s subreddit drew deep emotion from the team’s longtime supporters.

“Looks like you bastards pulled it off,” wrote Reddit user padres4me. “I freaking love it. Anyone who truly knows or even cares about baseball knows the blame is on that POS and not the fans. Keep baseball in Oakland and force a sale!”

That parking lot action was so legit,” wrote Ok-Ad-445. “Props to everyone out there. Such a positive for A’s fans and Oaktown. Makes one feel better about the family around this team, regardless of what happens next.”

“This is beautiful,” added Dadalorian76. “It’s also fucking sad and makes me want to cry.”

Another protest event was held last June 13, but it was markedly different. To demonstrate their continued capacity for team support, fans staged a “reverse boycott” that spiked the stadium’s average nightly attendance of 4K to a nearly half-full 27K.

Fans attending Thursday’s rally had at least one reason to feel better about not watching the game. The A’s lost, 8-0, to the Cleveland Guardians.

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