After a lengthy and emotional process, MLB owners unanimously voted to approve the Athletics' relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas on Thursday morning.
Shortly after, Oakland mayor Sheng Thao released a statement on the voting.
"We are disappointed by the outcome of this vote. But we do not see this as the end of the road," the mayor wrote. "We all know there is a long way to go before shovels in the ground and that there are a number of unresolved issues surrounding this move.
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"I have also made it clear to the Commissioner that the A's branding and name should stay in Oakland and we will continue to work to pursue expansion opportunities. Baseball has a home in Oakland even if the A's ownership relocates."
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the media in Arlington, Texas to further break down the latest details on the relocation efforts. Manfred said it was his -- and A's owner John Fisher's -- preference to keep the team in Oakland, where they have played for the last five decades, but ultimately "it didn't happen."
While the owners have approved of the team's bid to move the A's to Las Vegas, there still are several hurdles in the way before the team officially can call Sin City home, including securing approval of a stadium operating agreement and a non-relocation agreement with Las Vegas, a construction agreement, a private financing plan and new renderings for the proposed Las Vegas ballpark.
However, the team’s current lease at Oakland Coliseum expires after the 2024 season. If the A’s ask Oakland for a lease extension, the move reportedly might cost the club more than money.
Thao won't give up just yet, and the mayor plans to ask MLB for the city of Oakland to keep the rights to the "Athletics" name as part of extension talks for the Oakland Coliseum lease, forcing the organization to select a new name. Additionally, Thao could ask for Oakland to jump to the front of the line for a potential new MLB expansion team.
The A's will need a place to play until their proposed new ballpark in southern Nevada is completed, which is expected to be in 2028. Their current lease at the Coliseum expires after the 2024 season, and Manfred said the league is "exploring a variety of alternatives," including staying in Oakland for the remaining years.
Manfred was asked about the mayor's request to keep the A's name and a possible expansion team in Oakland in the future.
"It's certainly possible to have a lease extension where the A's would play in Oakland beyond 2024," he responded. "In the first instance, that's an issue for John. In terms of making a recommendation that we'll present to the clubs, we don't even know if we're going to have an expansion process, so I'm not in a position to bargain about where the expansion teams are going to go.
" ... When and if we have an expansion process, every city that's interested in having an expansion franchise will have an opportunity to participate."
Fisher also spoke to reporters Thursday, opening his statement by saying it's a "great day" for Las Vegas and an "incredibly difficult" one for Oakland A's fans.
The owner also distributed a long letter to Oakland fans.
In the letter, Fisher apologizes to Bay Area A's fans and said he "worked as hard as possible for six years" to keep the team in the East Bay.