Kaval explains viral Golden Knights tweet during A's game originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The last two weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for Athletics fans.
On May 11, the team announced that, with MLB's blessing and urging, they would begin to explore options to relocate while they wait on the city of Oakland to vote on their Howard Terminal waterfront ballpark.
OregonLive reported Monday that the A's were planning to visit Las Vegas, Nev. and Portland, Ore. to do research on possible stadium sites.
A few hours later, A's president Dave Kaval sent out a tweet that upset the A's fanbase.
Kaval attended the Vegas Golden Knights' Stanley Cup playoff game against the Minnesota Wild at T-Mobile Arena ... while the A's were at the Coliseum in Oakland hosting the Seattle Mariners.
Kaval, who usually is at A's home games and tweets when the A's score or start to rally, wasn't watching his team. Instead, he was taking in an NHL game in a city that is trying to lure the baseball team away from Oakland.
A day later, Kaval went on Barstool Sports' Starting 9 podcast and spoke to former A's pitcher and current NBC Sports California broadcaster Dallas Braden about the viral tweet in question.
"Well, our fans deserve that type of experience and they deserve a venue that can offer that, and I've done everything in my power the last five years to make that happen," Kaval said Tuesday. "And we're hopeful that can happen in Oakland on the waterfront but it's out of our control. Obviously, it has to be approved by the city council.
"So anyways, what people need to understand, when people see a tweet or an interaction, I'm communicating not only to our fans, but I'm also communicating to the elected leaders in Oakland, to understand 'Hey, it's go-time.' We're in the ninth inning and we need to see if this thing can happen. We put an incredible offer on the table. We think the waterfront ballpark can be tremendous but we need a partner who's willing to take us there. And that may happen. I've always been a very optimistic person and we continue to fight for that every day. But by the same token, we've been directed very clearly by the commissioner's office to have other parallel paths in process."
The A's have called the Coliseum home since 1968, but they have been trying to build a new stadium in the Bay Area for nearly two decades. They have proposed a waterfront ballpark at the Howard Terminal site in Oakland and are awaiting a vote by city council members on the funding of the stadium.
The Oakland City Council has put the Howard Terminal stadium plan on its agenda for July 20.
The A's have a lease at the Coliseum that expires in 2024.
"We're running out of time, man," Kaval told Braden, who made 94 career appearances in five seasons with the A's from 2007 through 2011. "You're there with me at the stadium seeing the light standards not working, the water overflowing. That's not an acceptable experience for our fans, for our players, for our community. That's unacceptable. And we owe it to everyone involved in this effort, I owe it to everyone involved in this effort, to do everything I can to advance a new ballpark in a way that makes sense."
Braden pressed Kaval on if he understands the anger of A's fans seeing his tweet Monday night while they were watching a game at the Coliseum.
"I think it's important to note that we haven't announced we're moving the team to some other market," Kaval said. "We're playing in Oakland. We're fighting hard than any team ever to make a waterfront ballpark a success. The other two teams (the Warriors and Raiders) left without even an effort. And so, we will continue to do that and I think what we're trying to do, we're trying to demonstrate what's possible with a new venue, which I think is something -- we're 10 years past when it should have happened, in all reality.
"In many ways, we should have been in a new stadium when you threw your perfect game. It's incredible how long this has taken and we owe it to everyone to bring this to a resolution one way or another. And I know that's sometimes hard for people to hear because the change is hard and scary, but it's also what has to happen because where we are now, the venue, it just cannot support a team for many more years. We only have a lease through 2024 and we need an answer, and we have some really good options for a waterfront ballpark that's privately financed. We're hopeful that gets approved, but we have to look at what's happened and how long it's taken and really understand that we need to have a couple options available.
"And I think MLB feels the strongest that that has to happen because in the best interest in baseball, there has to be a home yard for the Athletics. There has to be. That just has to happen. That's something I think everyone can agree has to occur. And our fans are going to be better off for it. They're going to enjoy an experience in a new stadium. I saw with the (San Jose) Earthquakes when we played in a sub-standard facility and then we got PayPal Park, which became a huge success. So that's the same type of thing we want to create for our fans. How it transpires and even where it is, that's what the next three to six months are going to be about, getting to that. It's obviously going to be a roller coaster."
Whether Kaval's tweet was meant for A's fans or for Oakland city officials is in the eye of the beholder. What is clear is that the tweet irked an A's fan base that remains in limbo about what the future holds for the franchise.