Sutter Health Park ‘A’s’ makeshift digs


Oakland A’s to play in Sacramento until Vegas stadium is ready Image: Sutter Health Park

The Major League Baseball (MLB) team Oakland Athletics plan to play in the City of West Sacramento, California (US) starting in 2025 while the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise waits for a stadium to be built in Las Vegas, Nevada.

‘CNN’ stated that the ‘A’s’ made the announcement on April 4th, saying the team will play their home games at the Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento – home of the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) side the Sacramento Rivers Cats – for the 2025-2027 seasons.

New York (US)-based the Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball league and the highest level of organized baseball in the United States and Canada. One of the big four major leagues, the MLB comprises 30 teams, divided equally between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

The Oakland Athletics ((often referred to as the Oakland ‘A’s’) are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California (US). The Athletics compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League West Division.

The 63,000-capacity Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is a multipurpose stadium in Oakland, California, United States. It is part of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex, with the adjacent 19,200-capacity Oakland Arena, near Interstate 880. It serves as the residence of the Oakland Athletics.

The 14,014-capacity Sutter Health Park is the home ballpark of the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team Sacramento River Cats which is a member of the Pacific Coast League.

The Sacramento River Cats are a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and are the Triple-A affiliate of the MLB team San Francisco Giants.

St. Petersburg (US)-based the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) is a professional baseball organization below the Major League Baseball (MLB), including teams affiliated with the MLB clubs. Entering the 2021 season, the number of full-season MLB-affiliated minor leagues with teams in the United States and Canada was reduced to 11, with a total of 120 teams.

‘CNN’ further stated that the team plans to relocate to Las Vegas in 2028. The Sutter Health Park is 85.7 miles (138 kilometers) away from the Oakland Coliseum, but still more than six times closer than Las Vegas from the ‘A’s’ current home.

According to the ‘A’s’ owner John Fisher, the team had intended to remain in Oakland, where it had played since 1968, before it heads to ‘Sin City’ in 2028 but was unable to reach an agreement to extend their lease in the City.

Fisher sent out a statement which read, “We explored several locations for a temporary home, including the Oakland Coliseum. Even with the long-standing relationship and good intentions on all sides in the negotiations with Oakland, the conditions to achieve an agreement seemed out of reach. We understand the disappointment this news brings to our fans, as this season marks our final one in Oakland. Throughout this season, we will honor and celebrate our time in Oakland, and will share additional details soon. We extend our appreciation to the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Sacramento Kings and the City of West Sacramento, and look forward to making the Sutter Health Park our home until our new ballpark opens in Las Vegas.”

The River Cats are an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and majority-owned by the Sacramento Kings.

The ‘A’s announced their intention to move to Las Vegas in April last year and had the relocation unanimously approved by the MLB owners in September.

The nine-time World Series champions will follow in the footsteps of the National Football League’s (NFL’s) Las Vegas Raiders, who also moved from Oakland to Sin City in 2020. The ‘A’s’ will become the City’s fourth major sports franchise alongside the National Hockey League’s (NHL’s) Vegas Golden Knights, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA’s) Las Vegas Aces and the Raiders.

Last month, the ‘A’s’ released the renderings of their new, 33,000-seat ballpark on the Las Vegas Strip which is set to be canopied by an enormous five-tier roof.

Inspired by the baseball pennants (a flag that is given each year to the top team in a league), some have compared the ballpark’s design to the 5,738-capacity Sydney Opera House (performing arts center in Sydney, Australia), while others likened the individual tiers to the scales of an armadillo (a small animal whose body is covered in hard strips that allow it to roll into a ball when attacked).

Despite Fisher’s claims that the new ballpark would offer “an unmatched fan experience”, many fans are still resentful over the decision to leave Oakland.

Fans at the Coliseum staged a “reverse boycott” in June 2023, carrying signs that were critical of Fisher’s ownership and implored him to sell the team.

The attendance figures have also taken a hit. The ‘A’s’ recorded a league-low total attendance of 832,352 across the 2023 season – less than half of their most recent pre-pandemic attendance total of 1,670,734.

The fans protested in the parking lot outside the Coliseum on the Opening Day, with many supporters choosing not to enter the stadium and instead watching the ‘A’s’ season opener against the MLB team Cleveland Guardians on a screen.

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