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(KRON) — Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao floated the idea of an expansion team after the Major League Baseball team owners voted unanimously Thursday morning to approve the Oakland A’s move to Las Vegas.
“It’s a huge disappointment,” Thao said, but added that “This is far from being over.”
Despite the owners’ unanimous vote approving the move, there remain hurdles to clear. The A’s proposed new stadium off the Vegas Strip won’t be ready until 2028. There’s also a looming legal battle with a Nevada teacher’s union and the team’s current lease with the Oakland Coliseum expires after the 2024 season.
“I’m very disappointed by the outcome of this vote, but we all know, however that there is a long way before shovels hit the ground in Las Vegas and there are a number of unresolved issues surrounding this move,” Mayor Thao told KRON4’s Stephanie Lin.
The mayor said she would continue to work with fans while lobbying MLB for an expansion team that would potentially retain the A’s name and branding.
“I’m going to keep working with the fans to ensure, and make even more clear, that the A’s name and the A’s branding should remain here in Oakland,” Thao said.
Thao said she would also be open to speaking to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred about an A’s-branded expansion team.
“I’m more than happy to continue to have a conversation with the commissioner about a possible expansion team, but keeping the A’s branding and also making sure that we have that expansion opportunity here in the City of Oakland.”
“The city council again reaffirmed unanimously last week that MLB has a home here in the City of Oakland. We were very close to being shovel ready,” Thao said.
“Here in Oakland, we have a huge marketing opportunity for MLB, and I know that they know that too,” Thao said. “We’re really disappointed with the outcome of the vote, but this is far from being over.”
However, at this time, Thao said she has not spoken to Commissioner Manfred or any of the MLB owners about an expansion being granted to Oakland.