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What Ruined Oakland Sports?

Oakland has always had a bad reputation in the Bay Area. Whether it be the poverty or the high crime rate, it was never the place to be. There was a large sports community within Oakland and the rest of Northern California in the past. With three professional sports teams at its height, Oakland was California’s sports city.


However, the Warriors moved to San Francisco in 2019 and have recently connected more to San Francisco culture than its Bay Area roots. The year after, Oakland lost its football team, the Raiders, to Las Vegas. This disheveled the Bay Area football rivalry between the 49ers and the Raiders.


More recently, the Oakland Athletics’ (The A’s) owner also wants to move the team to Las Vegas. What is the cause for all of these relocations, and how are they affecting fans?

Stadiums

Oracle Arena was the home of the Golden State Warriors from 1962 to 2019. A 57-year-old stadium was no home to a dynasty team, so construction began on the Chase Center in San Francisco.


This one billion-dollar stadium was built next to the Central Basin of the Bay and only half a mile from Oracle Park, where the San Francisco Giants play. Moving to the heart of one of the biggest cities in the country was sure to attract more revenue for one of the best teams of the decade.


The Raiders and The A’s shared The Coliseum, The A’s current stadium in Oakland. During the beginning of the football season, dirt from the baseball stadium was still visible in one of the end zones. Not wanting to share a stadium with a baseball team, the Raiders moved to Nevada, a new state.


They now share a stadium with UNLV’s football team. The A’s owner, John Fisher, wants to move his team to Las Vegas, with plans for a more modern stadium. The Coliseum is known for being one of the worst baseball stadiums to visit, as it is ancient and not taken care of.



Las Vegas

The idea of moving a team to Las Vegas includes many surface-level pros. The city is built on grandeur and money, so it would make no sense for an owner of a team not to want to move to Vegas.


Some sports analysts are even calling Vegas the “new sports city” due to the amount of teams they have amassed over the past several years. As we dig beneath the surface, we realize that Las Vegas should not be housing as many teams as they are. Behind all of the grandeur, Vegas has many issues, and water consumption is one of them.


Baseball stadiums need 62,500 gallons of water a week to keep up with maintenance. Water is already being depleted from the rivers to serve Las Vegas without a stadium; adding a new one would worsen their problem. Additionally, it only seems detrimental to the teams that their fan base is now in another state.


Many Californians still support the Raiders, but they can no longer attend games as often as they would like, so moving to an entirely new stadium would mean they have to create a new fanbase with that city.

John Fisher and The MLB

The final thing currently ruining Oakland sports is none other than the owner of the A’s, John Fisher. He does not take good care of the teams that he owns, the other one being the San Jose Earthquakes. To start, he hardly pays his players. Last year, Max Scherzer, famed pitcher for the Texas Rangers, made more money than all active players on the A’s combined.


There is another debate on how much athletes make. However, not many people have what it takes to push it to the MLB and are putting their bodies on the line to do their job. Fisher also never seemed to scout great players or make any trades within the league, leaving fans with nothing to look forward to during the season.



Fans have protested Fisher’s ownership at games and been seen seated in the outfield for cameras to see their signs and chants. Why the MLB has not stepped in to revoke ownership is beyond me, however moving to Las Vegas would bring in more money for the league, so they will not stop John Fisher’s reign of terror over Oakland.


An Ode To Oakland

With all of these moves to Vegas, Oakland, and Northern California, there will be nothing to be proud of. Have the A’s and the Raiders been good in the past decade? Absolutely not. However, sticking through the losses creates a stronger bond between the fans and the team itself (from a Mets fan).


In the past two years of living just outside the bay, I have seen many houses with Raiders flags and countless people proudly wearing A’s hats. So, for all of you in Oakland, keep fighting for your teams and make your voices heard, as there is nothing scarier than an angry sports fan.



 

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