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Why are the A’s relocating to Sacramento? What we know about the team’s temporary stay

(FOX40.COM) — It’s official. The Athletics are calling Sutter Health Park home for three seasons.

The A’s temporary stay at the West Sacramento ballpark will take place ahead of the team’s planned move from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2028. The Sacramento Kings and Sacramento River Cats announced the MLB team will play in West Sacramento from 2025 to 2027 with an option to play for a fourth season.

West Sacramento will be the team’s fourth city the franchise has played in its over a century-long history.

The announcement comes two days after A’s executives met with Oakland and Alameda County officials on a possible extension of their lease at the Coliseum. The lease expires after the 2024 season.

The temporary move ends fans’ hope of the team staying in Oakland, where they played since 1968.

What does the A’s move to Sacramento mean for fans and Sutter Health Park?

Team’s exploration of relocation possibilities

The A’s propose to build a new baseball stadium in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland. If approved, the stadium would’ve been built and served as the team’s home after the 2024 season.

Stadium plans were moving slowly and the proposed ballpark reportedly became impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the slow progress of the project, MLB gave the A’s permission to explore relocation options in May 2021.

Speculation of the A’s move to Las Vegas began when the team bought land for a new retractable roof ballpark on the Las Vegas Strip. 

Although plans are not finalized for move to Vegas, the A’s planned 33,000-seat stadium has begun preparations.

In May 2023, the A’s went into a binding agreement with Bally’s Corporation to build a new ballpark on the Tropicana Las Vegas property. The Tropicana Las Vegas, which was operated for 67 years, closed on April 2 and is set to be demolished in October.

SF Giants manager Bob Melvin sees Sacramento as a baseball town, looks to the season ahead

Sacramento emerges as temporary host site

As the A’s wait to relocate to Vegas, the team became unsure where they would play after the 2024 season.

Sutter Health Park emerged as a host site in January along with Salt Lake City, Summerlin, Nevada and Oracle Park in San Francisco.

The West Sacramento venue has been home to the River Cats since its inaugural season in 2000. The River Cats originally served as the Triple-A Minor League for the A’s until 2014.

The team became the top farm team of the San Francisco Giants in 2015 and has a contract with the ballclub through 2030.

The A’s interest in the West Sacramento ballpark started circulating when team executives toured the venue in January. A’s owner John Fisher and president Dave Kaval were reportedly among some of the high-level executives who visited the ballpark.

Discussions of a temporary stay in Sacramento continued after the A’s and the city of Oakland failed to reach an agreement of a lease extension.

A temporary stay in Sacramento allows the A’s to keep a larger percentage of its television contract with NBC Sports California than the team would in Salt Lake City.

Games in West Sacramento will be televised on the regional sports network in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento markets.

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