Notoriously cheap owner has to pay for A’s to leave Oakland


Notoriously cheap owner has to pay for A’s to leave Oakland

The Oakland Athletics, known for their frugality in the world of baseball, are now facing a hefty bill just to leave their current home in Oakland. According to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle, Alameda County has demanded that the A’s pay $45 million by May 14 of next year.

The demand stems from a contract clause that was triggered when the Athletics announced their move to Las Vegas. The clause states that the team is required to pay off the entire remaining balance within 180 days of announcing their departure from Oakland. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors wrote a letter stating that the clause was triggered on November 16, the same day that all 30 MLB teams unanimously approved the relocation.

In 2019, the Athletics bought out the county’s 50 percent stake in the Oakland Coliseum’s site for $85 million. As part of the deal, the team was supposed to make three equal payments of $15 million across 2024, 2025, and 2026. However, with the announcement of their move, the county is demanding the remaining balance in full.

The Athletics’ reputation for being one of the cheapest teams in baseball is well-known. They consistently rank in the bottom half of the league’s payroll rankings, and in 2022 and 2018, they ranked dead last in payroll. This frugality has also extended to their stadium-building plans. Despite seeking financial assistance from Alameda County for their billion-dollar stadium project, the team rejected all offers from the city of Oakland between 2021 and 2023.

It’s worth noting that the Athletics’ penny-pinching ways have not hindered their success on the field. Enabled by the popularization of the “Moneyball” philosophy, the team has been able to consistently compete with bigger-market teams despite their limited budget.

While the A’s have made headlines for their move to Las Vegas and the financial implications that come with it, the team’s future in their new home remains uncertain. The relocation still needs approval from the city of Las Vegas and the MLB, and there are many factors that could impact the team’s plans going forward.

As the Athletics face the prospect of paying a significant sum just to leave Oakland, it raises questions about the financial realities of professional sports and the relationship between teams and the cities they call home. The situation serves as a reminder that even in a business as lucrative as professional sports, financial decisions can have significant consequences.

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