Robbie Grossman spent two seasons patrolling the outfield at the Oakland Coliseum, and so even though he hasn't played for the Athletics since 2020, he has a vested interest in how the situation surrounding their future home plays out.
The A's have been trying to build a new ballpark in the Bay Area for a long time, and the $12 billion waterfront Howard Terminal project is the latest target for the team. But the organization also is exploring several sites in Las Vegas, Nevada in the event the proposed new stadium in Oakland falls through.
Grossman, now playing for the Detroit Tigers, offered his honest assessment of the situation regarding his former team.
"I want to make sure I say this right," Grossman told The Detroit News' Chris McCosky. "I hope they move to Vegas."
The Coliseum, which opened in 1966, clearly is outdated. No one would disagree with that. It's a multi-purpose stadium that the A's used to share with the Raiders before the NFL allowed them to relocate to, of all places, Las Vegas.
"Oakland was special to me, but you can no longer play in the Coliseum," Grossman told McCosky. "And if they can’t build a stadium within a year or two, there’s no reason for them to be there."
The situation between the A's and their loyal fans has been tenuous for some time, and it hasn't gotten better early in the 2022 season. After the front office traded away Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea in March, the fanbase has been reluctant to show up to home games at the Coliseum, leading to some of the smallest home attendances since the 1980s.
"It’s a shame," Grossman told McCosky. "The A’s have such a long history in Oakland and so many good things have happened there. The fans are great there. It’s a tough situation. I just hope at the end of the day they figure something out to make it better."
McCosky also spoke to Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, who was drafted by the A's and played two seasons for the franchise. Hinch called the situation unfortunate and hopes it gets resolved in some way.
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The A's took a big step towards getting the Howard Terminal project started when the Oakland City Council approved the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in February.
But there still are many hurdles for the A's to clear before they can break ground on a ballpark on the waterfront in Oakland.