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Oakland A's to play in West Sacramento for three seasons starting in 2025

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The Oakland Athletics announced today that this is their last season of baseball in Oakland. The A's are temporarily relocating to a stadium in West Sacramento for the next three seasons and will permanently move to Las Vegas in 2028. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman reports.

AZUL DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN, BYLINE: It's an announcement that A's fans have been dreading for months.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN FISHER: And we're looking forward to this being our home until we move on to our stadium in Las Vegas in 2028.

DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: A's owner John Fisher broke the news that Sutter Health Park, a minor league stadium, will be the new temporary home for the A's. A's executives had been meeting with Oakland officials about extending their lease at the Oakland Coliseum but were unable to reach an agreement. That lease ends this year. Officials in the Sacramento area were jubilant. Barry Broome is CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council.

BARRY BROOME: You know, the story that's going to be told here is these people in Sacramento love baseball. And, you know, I know there'll never be an empty seat in this stadium.

DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: West Sacramento is a separate city right next to Sacramento, and officials there have long dreamed of playing host to a permanent major league sports team. They see this as an opportunity to showcase their city as a candidate.

BROOME: And if I'm Major League Baseball or Major League Soccer, I'm putting a franchise here as soon as possible.

DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: But in Oakland, the news came down hard. Oakland lost two other professional sports teams in the past decade. In a statement, Congresswoman Barbara Lee called it a sad day for Oakland and for generations of A's fans - fans like Sean McKissick. The 42-year-old says his dad basically raised him at the Coliseum.

SEAN MCKISSICK: Some of my happiest memories, both as a child and as an adult, are going to the Coliseum, watching my team play.

DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: He feels that A's owner John Fisher has betrayed fans. But in a twist of fate, the Bay area native now lives in West Sacramento, and his daughter is very excited to see the A's play closer to home.

MCKISSICK: I mean, am I going to tell my kids, no, you can't go - you can't have those same experiences because we don't want to be complicit? I don't know.

DAHLSTROM-ECKMAN: He says that will be a decision for Opening Day next season.

For NPR News, I'm Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman in Oakland.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALBERT VON TILZER SONG, "TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman
I was born and raised in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Upon graduating high school, I left San Francisco to pursue a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon in Eugene. I’ve worked as an arborist, bicycle mechanic, carpenter, zero waste educator, whitewater raft guide, and a freelance reporter for the Potrero View newspaper. My passions include everything outdoors, showing off my favorite spots in San Francisco, and most recently, swimming in the Bay. I look forward to joining the KALW news team as an Audio Academy fellow and using my time there to the fullest.