MLB commissioner Rob Manfred insisted Tuesday that he and the league aren’t bluffing with the city of Oakland.
Manfred, speaking with reporters ahead of the All-Star Game in Denver, said he expects to know about the Athletics’ future in the city within the “next couple of months,” and that there are multiple solid options for the franchise should it move out of the Bay Area.
“Thinking about this as a bluff is a mistake,” Manfred said, via The Athletic. “This is the decision point for Oakland as to whether they want to have Major League Baseball going forward.”
Manfred: Las Vegas is a viable alternative
MLB gave the A’s approval to seek relocation in May after their plans for a new ballpark in Oakland stalled.
The team has been trying to build a new stadium in the city for years, but it hasn’t made progress on it or received approval from local officials. The A’s proposal involved them privately funding $1 billion for the stadium, and included an ask of "an $855 million commitment from the city for infrastructure improvements.”
A’s officials have visited Las Vegas multiple times in recent months, and were set to visit Portland, too. Manfred hinted Tuesday at multiple different cities that could work.
Nashville, Charlotte and Indianapolis have been mentioned as possible expansion cities in the United States, and Montreal and Vancouver could be options should the league want to expand in Canada.
Either way, Manfred said he expects movement on this front. So if Oakland wants to keep the A’s, it sounds like the city will have to make a decision soon.
"Las Vegas is a viable alternative for a major league club, and there are other viable alternatives that I haven't turned the A's loose to even explore at this point," Manfred said, via ESPN.
"So we're gonna know one way or the other what's gonna happen in Oakland in the next couple months. If you can't get a ballpark, I think the relocation process, whether it's Las Vegas or a broader array of cities that get considered, is gonna take on more pace."
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