As the Athletics continue their efforts to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas, owner John Fisher has taken steps to make amends with the owner of a former Oakland sports franchise who now resides in Southern Nevada.
In an exclusive interview with NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai, Fisher revealed that he takes responsibility for the strained relationship between he and Raiders owner Mark Davis upon the latter’s departure from the East Bay in 2019.
“When the Raiders left the Coliseum, we were co-tenants at the Coliseum, as you know,” Fisher told Mathai. And I think that they felt like we were not the best of partners when they exited the Coliseum. And I understand that criticism and I feel bad that was the situation that we created, that was ultimately my responsibility. I talked to Mark on the very first trip that [A's president] Dave Kaval and I took to Vegas two years ago.
“He was very gracious with me. I told him that I wanted to spend some time with him because we do have a lot in common and I had a lot to learn. They've been an incredibly successful franchise for Las Vegas and I think they've done a really terrific job. He and I have spoken a couple of times and I look forward to kind of getting together with him in person and finding out what are the learnings he can teach me and what are the things that we can do together, you know, to support each other.”
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Fisher’s comments are interesting to say the least, as Davis had some harsh words for A’s management in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal's John Katsilometes back in April.
Davis mentioned that there still was a disconnect between the two franchises, placing blame on the A’s for the Raiders' inability to find a stadium solution in Oakland before their eventual departure to Las Vegas.
“I won’t forget what they did to us in Oakland,” Davis told Katsilometes. “They squatted on a lease for 10 years and made it impossible for us to build on that stadium.”
Fisher also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he apologized to Davis for the rocky relationship between the two franchises stemming from their final years together in Oakland.
With these two franchises on a collision course to share a media market once again, Fisher has made it a priority to rectify whatever disconnect might remain between he and Davis moving forward. Whether or not Davis is as keen on the idea remains to be seen.