A's GM Forst won't ‘take sides' in team's ballpark pursuit


As the Athletics continue to explore their "parallel path" for a new ballpark in either Oakland or Las Vegas, general manager David Forst just wants what's best for the team.

"I'm hoping the A's get a stadium. I don't take sides," Forst told ESPN's Paul Gutierrez on Saturday. "The only thing that affects the way we operate in baseball operations is actually having a facility.

"We really can't spend a lot of time thinking about the where right now."

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said last month that A's ownership has shifted its focus to building a new stadium in Las Vegas, as the franchise's efforts to see a waterfront stadium through in the Bay hits hurdle after hurdle.

Most recently, the city of Oakland lost out on a $180 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation that greatly would have benefitted the Howard Terminal project’s offsite infrastructure needs for things like roads, overpasses, sewer and other upgrades. The city has secured other monies to help bridge the gap, but those costs only will increase with time.

The uncertainty in Oakland is precisely why the A's simultaneously have explored the option of relocating to Las Vegas, a process team president Dave Kaval has coined as a “parallel path.”

And much like Forst, A's second-year manager Mark Kotsay is more focused on a new ballpark for his team rather than where it will be built.

"For us as an organization, we continue to pursue both in Oakland and in Vegas and we call that the parallel path," Kotsay told Gutierrez. "For us, we're always looking for the opportunity in front of us."

The A's and Cincinnati Reds this weekend played a two-game set at Las Vegas Ballpark, where Oakland's Triple-A affiliate, the Aviators, have played since 2019. The minor league club played at Cashman Field in Las Vegas for 35 years before that, and Aviators president and COO Don Logan told Gutierrez the A's should "make the best deal they can" to play in Sin City.

"Las Vegas offers a dynamic that no other team has," Logan said. "We have 45 million visitors annually in this market, and that's what we want -- heads in beds. That's what Las Vegas is about.

"It's a better opportunity here [for the A's] in the long term."

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The long term most certainly is up in the air right now for both the A's and their fans in the Bay.

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