The Athletics have been rooted in Oakland for the last 55 years, but that soon could change as they push to relocate from the East Bay to Las Vegas.
While the A's have built a passionate fan base over the past five decades, ESPN Las Vegas radio host Steve Cofield isn't convinced they can get the same fandom in Sin City.
“We all follow sports, so we know how the A's and its ownership have operated in recent years,” Cofield said (h/t The Messenger). “A team that doesn't try to win, spend money or embrace local fans will have a tough time building any sort of loyalty here in Las Vegas. And the first couple of dealings here in Nevada, [A's owner] John Fisher and [A’s president] Dave Kaval haven't come off as guys to believe in.
"The public money is a big issue, but you'd have a lot more Las Vegas locals open to the idea if the market was getting an expansion team or a good franchise.”
Cofield has hosted the popular "Cofield & Company" radio show since 2007. He can't remember a time when Southern Nevada residents weren't overly excited about the possibility of getting a professional sports team.
Las Vegas already has the Golden Knights (NHL), Aces (WNBA), and Raiders (NFL), among several other sports teams. While Vegas fans would welcome an MLB team, Cofield believes they just won't hold their arms as wide open for the A's.
That has been one of the biggest concerns for the team since the relocation process began: Will fans support the A's in Las Vegas?
Only time will tell, but well-known Las Vegas columnist Norm Clarke believes the team will be fine as long as they do their job and perform well on the field.
“I don’t have a problem with the Tropicana being torn down, and I love Las Vegas’ rich entertainment history as much as anyone,” Clarke said. “Market the team right and put out a good product and they won’t have attendance issues.”
The next step in the A's lengthy relocation process reportedly is happening soon. Las Vegas Review-Journal's Mick Akers reported last week, citing sources, that MLB owners will vote on the A's potential move in November.
The A's need 75 percent of team owners to vote in favor of the relocation. Their relocation application, which was submitted in August, currently is being received by MLB's relocation committee.