We have fought to keep the A’s in Oakland for years because we believe in the city of Oakland, which has all of the required economic indicators, fan support and political will to keep all of its sports teams.
We believe in Oakland. At the same time, we criticize billionaire A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher because they don’t believe in Oakland, and they really don’t have a good reason why. Wolff and Fisher have never worked sincerely with Oakland and Alameda County officials on building a new stadium and solidifying the team’s future.
A decade ago, Wolff’s and Fisher’s negative view of Oakland was merely elitist and inaccurate. Today, their view of Oakland remains elitist and inaccurate and, sadly, becomes more fictional and outdated with each new day.
Fact is, Oakland has begun an economic and social renaissance, becoming one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets. Oakland’s current median housing sale price is twice that of Houston’s, for example. Oakland also has added more than 200 new restaurants and many more bars and cafes within the past few years. In Oakland alone, the city’s corporate stable includes thriving big-time companies such as Clorox, Pandora, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream and Sungevity. And, next door in Emeryville, corporations like Pixar and Peet’s Coffee also are headquartered. Neighboring East Bay cities offer plenty of potential corporate support, too, with companies like Chevron and Safeway, to name a few among many.
We’re not exactly sure why Wolff/Fisher and their apologists continue to knock Oakland and the East Bay, when the reality shows that Oakland is a perfectly viable sports city. One day, maybe they’ll sincerely explain where their wild miscalculations about the city stem from. Until then, A’s baseball fans are held hostage by Wolff’s and Fisher’s misperceptions about Oakland, and by their unhealthy obsession for a South Bay dream that will never come true.
So, we fans wait. And wait. And wait. And that’s been damaging to the A’s franchise. Why? Because as Wolff and Fisher have dawdled — while collecting $30 million MLB welfare checks and turning big yearly profits in Oakland — they could have started working with city-county officials on building an A’s stadium in Oakland, within their long-assigned East Bay territory. Who knows how many titles the A’s could have won if Wolff and Fisher had done this? Or if they ever stopped swirling ballpark-related distractions around the franchise each summer? Or if the billionaire owners simply valued winning over money?
A few weeks ago, it was the 19th anniversary of when Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann officially replaced the Haas family as A’s owners. All these years later, unfortunately, more questions than answers continue to plague the Athletics’ future. So, we continue to fight for our team and our city. We fight to continue the 46-year marriage between the A’s and the great, underrated city of Oakland. We fight for loyal and passionate Oakland baseball fans everywhere, who deserve better. A’s fans’ loyalty should be rewarded, not met with the shabby treatment that A’s owners have given them since 1995. We fight because many of us remember how the Oakland Raiders badly damaged their own franchise when they moved to L.A. in 1982, and we don’t want the same greedy, error-filled history to repeat itself with the Oakland Athletics.
We fight for these and so many other reasons. And we’re not going to rest until the future of the Oakland A’s is made certain with a new ballpark in the great city of Oakland.