Athletics Las Vegas Ballpark

Phillies' Harper saddened by A's potential move to Las Vegas

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Philadelphia Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper, who rooted for the Athletics while growing up in Las Vegas, is firmly against the franchise relocating to his hometown.

“I feel sorry for the fans in Oakland,’’ Harper said to USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Wednesday. “It’s just not right. They have so much history in Oakland. You’re taking a team out of a city. I’m pretty sad because of all of the history and all of the greatness they’ve seen there.

“I see the A’s as Oakland. I don’t see them as Vegas.’’

The A's potential relocation to Las Vegas cleared a major hurdle this week when Senate Bill 1 -- the team's proposal for $380 million in public funding to construct a new ballpark in Southern Nevada -- was approved by Nevada Senate on Tuesday and the Nevada Assembly on Wednesday.

It's not a done deal, however, as other MLB owners still need to vote on relocation along with a handful of other concerns the franchise needs to address.

Harper would like to see baseball come to Las Vegas someday but would prefer it to be an expansion team, like the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL, instead of a historic franchise like the A's packing their bags for Southern Nevada.

“Those fans are so passionate, they bleed green,’’ Harper told Nightengale. “I’m not sure what they’re going to be, or how they’re going to be in Vegas, but it won’t be the same. Pretty small market. The 30,000-seat stadium helps out a little bit, but at the same time, I’m going to be pretty sad they’re moving because of all of that history and all of the greatness they’ve seen there.’’

A's fans organized a "reverse boycott" at the Oakland Coliseum on Tuesday night, where nearly 28,000 fans packed the stadium to voice their displeasure with the potential relocation. Their sentiment is echoed by Harper, who will be visiting the Coliseum this weekend when Oakland hosts Philadelphia for a three-game series.

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