(KRON) — Despite Nevada lawmakers approving public funding for a ballpark this week, Oakland A’s fans don’t lose hope. Former Miami Marlins President David Samson says A’s fans shouldn’t lose hope on their team leaving Oakland for Las Vegas.
“I don’t want anyone to give up hope. I think it’s not an absolute that the A’s are going to Vegas,” Samson told KRON4 on Friday.
Perhaps Samson’s optimism is rooted in what happened three decades ago with the San Francisco Giants. Who remembers when the Orange and Black almost left the Bay Area entirely?
A similar situation happened with Giants, who almost moved to Florida, but this happened
Samson compared the situation of the Giants, who at the time were about to move to Tampa Bay, to the A’s current situation.
“I remind you of a team in your area. The San Francisco Giants were a minute and a half before moving to Tampa Bay, before there was expansion in Tampa Bay, and a deal ended up happening and a new ballpark was built in San Francisco. The rest is history, so there is actually a roadmap for this,” Samson said.
In need of a new ballpark away from the undesirable Candlestick Park due to its winds, the Giants almost moved to Tampa Bay in 1992. A group of investors from Florida signed a memorandum of agreement to buy the Giants from then-owner Bob Lurie, per The New York Times.
What stopped the Giants from moving to Florida?
National League (NL) owners rejected Lurie’s sale of the Giants to the Tampa Bay investors, according to The Mercury News. In the eleventh hour, then-CEO of Safeway Peter Magowan and a group of investors bought the team in 1993 — keeping the Giants in San Francisco. (That investment group included the Giants’ now-principle owner Charles B. Johnson.)
In 2023, the MLB owners’ vote is the final significant hurdle needed to make the A’s move to Las Vegas official. That is not expected to take place for another few months.
If this is anything like the Giants’ situation 30 years ago, the owners’ vote could be what keeps the A’s in Oakland. Perhaps, at the eleventh hour, someone could buy the A’s from Fisher and decide to keep the team in the Bay Area — just like Magowan did for the Giants.