The Oakland Athletics are officially relocating. The team's move to Las Vegas was voted on, and unanimously approved, by all 30 MLB owners Thursday.
“I want to express my gratitude to the owners and Commissioner for their thoughtful deliberation and positive votes in favor of our relocation to Las Vegas," Fisher said in a statement after the vote.
"We are excited to begin this next chapter in Las Vegas. I want to thank the Las Vegas and Nevada community for welcoming us. We will continue to work hard to bring home more championships for our fans and for our new home in Vegas.”
MLB owners vote to approve John Fisher’s relocation to Las Vegas. Vote was unanimous.
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) November 16, 2023
The vote should end roughly a decade of speculation over the Athletics' relocation efforts. A's owner John Fisher initially explored building a new ballpark around the Oakland area in California, but those attempts fell through.
"I know that today is a very difficult day with the vote by MLB owners allowing for the A's relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas," Fisher said in a message to the fans. "I share a lot of those emotions — sadness that our team will be leaving its home since 1968, pride in what we have accomplished together on and off the field in Oakland, but also hope and optimism about the future of the A's in Las Vegas.
"To our fans, I am truly sorry. While I know today is a sad day, I hope that it is also the start of a new and bright future for the A's."
In April, Fisher turned his attention away from Oakland, purchasing a plot of land in Las Vegas where a new $1.5 billion ballpark would be constructed. That decision prompted numerous fan protests throughout the 2023 season. Athletics fans routinely wore green shirts featuring the word "SELL" in large, white letters across the chest.
Fans packed the park in June as part of a reverse protest to prove to Fisher that Oakland would support a successful team. Fans loudly chanted, "Sell the team!" during the game, a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
After a back-and-forth with the Nevada legislature, Fisher reached a deal for funding in Las Vegas. With money secured, all Fisher needed was the approval of the other 29 MLB owners. That came Thursday.
The Athletics are still under lease at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 2024. After that, the team's lease ends. The Athletics don't expect their Las Vegas ballpark to be ready until 2028, so the team may need to find a temporary place to play following the 2024 MLB season.