Athletics plan to play next 3 seasons in minor league park near Sacramento

The Athletics will leave Oakland after this season and play temporarily at a minor league park near Sacramento until their planned new stadium in Las Vegas is built.

Team unable to extend lease agreement in Oakland while waiting for Vegas stadium

Fans hold a sign reading 'sell' at a stadium.
Attendance at Oakland Athletics games has fallen as the team plans a move to Las Vegas. On Thursday, the team announced it would spend the next three seasons at a minor-league ballpark as it waits for its stadium in Nevada to be built. (Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

The Athletics will leave Oakland after this season and play temporarily at a minor league park near Sacramento until their planned new stadium in Las Vegas is built.

The A's announced the decision to play at the home of the Sacramento River Cats from 2025-27 with an option for 2028 on Thursday after being unable to reach an agreement to extend their lease in Oakland during that time.

"We explored several locations for a temporary home, including the Oakland Coliseum," owner John Fisher said in a statement.

"Even with the long-standing relationship and good intentions on all sides in the negotiations with Oakland, the conditions to achieve an agreement seemed out of reach. We understand the disappointment this news brings to our fans, as this season marks our final one in Oakland. Throughout this season, we will honour and celebrate our time in Oakland, and will share additional details soon."

The A's announced their intention last April to move to Las Vegas and MLB owners unanimously approved in November the application to relocate.

The decision angered the fans in Oakland and the team's previously low attendance dropped precipitously with the club drawing a league-low 832,352 fans to the outdated Coliseum last season. The A's drew 13,522 fans on opening night this year with a few thousand others protesting Fisher in the parking lot, and failed to reach 7,000 fans in any of the next six games.

The A's will now play the next three seasons at Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento, near the state capitol and the NBA arena where the Sacramento Kings play. The minor league stadium has 10,624 fixed seats and can currently hold 14,014 fans with lawn seating and standing room.

Upgrades likely necessary

The stadium will likely need additional work to upgrade clubhouses, batting and other facilities in order to host a major league team.

"The MLBPA has had preliminary discussions with MLB about a range of issues related to the temporary relocation and we expect those discussions to continue," the players union said in a statement.

The team will be simply known as the Athletics, or A's, without a city designation during the stay in Sacramento.

"I'm thrilled to welcome the A's to Sutter Health Park, where players and fans alike can enjoy a world-class baseball experience and create unforgettable memories," said Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who also owns the minor league River Cats. "Today marks the next chapter of professional sports in Sacramento. The passion of our fans is second to none, and this is an incredible opportunity to showcase one of the most dynamic and vibrant markets in the country."

The River Cats will still play in their stadium the next three years and share it with the A's.

No major teams left at Coliseum

Commissioner Rob Manfred thanked the Kings and the leaders in the Sacramento area for getting an agreement done.

By staying in Northern California, the A's are hopeful of keeping a large share of their local television rights held by NBC Sports California, which is worth a reported $67 million US a year.

With the A's leaving Oakland after this season, the Coliseum complex that once was also home to the NFL's Raiders, the NBA's Warriors and the NHL's Seals will have no major sports teams.

Those teams combined to win 10 championships while in Oakland — four each for the A's and Warriors and two for the Raiders. The only cities with more combined titles in MLB, the NBA and NFL since the A's arrived in Oakland in 1968 are Los Angeles, Boston and New York.

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