Dave Kaval says Athletics won't sell, in contact with five cities

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Kaval says A's won't sell, in contact with five cities originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

To the dismay of frustrated Athletics fans and Oakland residents, team president Dave Kaval says there's no way the team will be for sale anytime soon.

"The team is not for sale," Kaval said Wednesday on KNBR's "Papa & Lund" show. "And I think it's important to understand that we've done everything we think possible to make it work here in Oakland over the last five years."

On Tuesday, it was confirmed the A's will begin exploring relocation options with the blessing of Major League Baseball, as their way of pressuring local government to approve a new stadium project. In fact, that process already has begun. 

The A's apparently are a hot commodity to options outside of Oakland. 

"The process with other markets has already started," Kaval said. "We've had five in-bound markets already contact us. ... We are discussing with other markets how it would look in those places as well." 

Kaval did not disclose which markets the A's are in contact with. The A's Triple-A affiliate plays in Las Vegas, and that has been seen as a possible relocation option. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred also has listed five other options in the past: Portland, Vancouver, Nashville, Charlotte and Montreal. 

The A's have moved twice before in the past after the franchise was founded in Philadelphia. They arrived in Kansas City for the 1955 season, and have been in Oakland since 1968. For the past 55 years, the A's have played at what now is called RingCentral Coliseum, but their lease ends in 2024. 

For the past few years they have been pushing a future waterfront stadium in Oakland at Howard Terminal, but haven't been successful in the eyes of local government with the $12 billion mixed-use development. 

"No other team here even tried to stay, if you remember," Kaval said. "Neither the Raiders or the Warriors. They decided at the beginning to leave. We think we have a great plan, we're hoping it's successful. But if it's not, we'll have to look at other options because we only have a lease through 2024, and the current venue, we can barely keep the lights on."

The Raiders left for Sin City and the Warriors moved back to San Francisco. So, what's different about Kaval and Co.'s big plan for the A's to stay in Oakland? 

"I think this is the best shot Oakland's had because you actually have an alignment," Kaval said. "You have a team that wants to stay and you have fans who want to make it happen. But I think the question is, is there the political leadership -- that final piece of the puzzle -- to make it happen.

"And that remains to be seen." 

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Yes, it remains to be seen if pressuring local government and saying Howard Terminal literally is the only option for the A's to stay in Oakland is a viable strategy. 

The reality is, the A's likely will be playing in the Coliseum through 2024. After that, it truly is a guessing game right now.