Major League Baseball has instructed the Oakland Athletics to begin exploring other markets for a possible relocation while they continue to pursue a new ballpark in Oakland, according to a statement the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara obtained.
“The Oakland Coliseum site is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball,” the statement read.
The possibility of relocating could put pressure on local government officials to approve a new stadium project that’s been in limbo for years, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
“The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark,” team owner John Fisher said in a separate statement. “Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB’s direction to explore other markets.”
Athletics president Dave Kaval said the organization plans to continue pushing toward a new stadium being built in Oakland, but he added “we’re running out of time here at the Coliseum.”
“The existing facility is past its useful life,” Kaval told MLB.com’s Martin Gallegos. “We had the lights go out the other night and couldn’t even get a game going.”
The likeliest place the A’s could relocate is Las Vegas, according to Passan.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has also mentioned Charlotte, Nashville, and Portland as potential U.S. sites, as well as Montreal and Vancouver in Canada.
The A’s have played in Oakland since 1968, winning four World Series since arriving in the Bay Area from Kansas City.