Fans of Major League Baseball in Oakland were dealt great news on Tuesday when commissioner Rob Manfred commented on the uncertain stadium situation around the Oakland Athletics.
In his comments, he expressed an absolute commitment to the city.
“I am committed to Oakland as a major-league site,” Manfred said, per John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle. “If we were to leave Oakland, I think 10 years from now we would be more likely than not looking backwards saying we made a mistake. I think the growth in that area, the way the growth has moved up into San Francisco, I think Oakland is more likely than not to be a better market five years from now than it is today. So I certainly have not given up on Oakland.”
Shea also quoted Manfred saying that expansion would not happen until both the A’s and Tampa Bay Rays resolve their stadium issues.
This is all great news for Oakland fans.
The Oakland Coliseum needs to be replaced. That’s well known around both baseball and the NFL.
The Oakland Raiders may be headed to Las Vegas. They have even put together a snazzy video to promote the move (watch here). As long as the stadium issue remains unresolved, a move completely out of the Bay Area is a risk for the A’s as well.
The issues around this stadium were one of the many elephants in the room during the tenure of Manfred’s predecessor, Bud Selig. Like everyone else, Selig knew that the stadium to be replaced. He was just horribly inactive at doing anything about it.
The current commissioner sees this situation in a different light. He can do any number of things to help the A’s get a stadium in Oakland — or at least the Bay Area. Obviously, making comments is one thing, though, while turning his words into actions and helping deliver a new stadium is quite another.
That is still potentially a long way away from happening. For now, though, the commissioner has made it clear that he sees Oakland in MLB’s future. For the first time in a while, the fans of Oakland have a genuine reason to be optimistic about the team’s future.