These are dark times for Oakland sports.
The Oakland Raiders might be playing their final game in Oakland on Christmas Eve, the penultimate game of a dark season for Jon Gruden’s 3-11 squad. The Raiders don’t quite know what happens after this season, but plan to open the 2020 season in Las Vegas.
The Golden State Warriors are slated to move out of Oracle Arena and across the bay to San Francisco next year. That isn’t as dramatic a move as the Raiders, but it’s still a bitter pill to swallow for many Oakland faithful.
And then there are the Oakland Athletics. The A’s don’t currently have a plan to move out of the city, but they have plans for a new stadium and we all know how that can sometimes end. The always massive question of taxpayer funding doesn’t seem to be an issue as the A’s reportedly plan for the project to be privately financed, but several obstacles remain, like community development and transportation planning.
If the Athletics’ stadium plan goes south in Oakland, that could mean the A’s might look elsewhere. One very famous Oakland native is now lobbying the city council to stop that from happening.
Marshawn Lynch lobbies for Athletics stadium
When it came down to it, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch’s pitch for the A’s stadium was pretty simple:
Oakland’s own @MoneyLynch spoke in front of the city council tonight on behalf of the A’s ballpark project. “We’re losing the Warriors. We’re losing the Raiders. Best not lose the A’s. (I) appreciate it.” #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/Nq85EBqM3g
— Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) December 20, 2018
Lynch has been out for the Raiders since October when the team placed him on injured reserve with a groin injury, and his football future has been in doubt ever since. The 32-year-old only came out of retirement to play for his hometown team, and pretty soon the Raiders aren’t going to be his hometown team anymore.
Time will tell if the A’s get the support they need for their very futuristic stadium. They might benefit from extra pressure on local government to keep at least one major professional sports team in the city, but a decision on that is a long way off.
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