A’s relocation to Sacramento? Timeline of past threats to leave Oakland

The A’s appear poised to leave Oakland, their home since 1968.

The team had scheduled meetings with Oakland and Sacramento officials on successive days this week and is nearing a deal to play next season at Sutter Health Park, home of the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, Sacramento radio host Dave Weiglein reported Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the team is staying quiet: Attempts to reach an A’s spokesperson and team president Dave Kaval went unreturned Wednesday evening.

A spokesperson for the Sacramento mayor’s office declined to confirm whether the meeting set for Wednesday even took place.

The organization is reportedly set for an internal meeting tomorrow.

It all leaves Oakland fans in limbo, waiting for word that they will be losing a third team since 2019. Of course, the A’s have threatened to leave before — many times, in fact.

Here’s a timeline of Oakland’s often tenuous hold on its baseball team:

1970: Two years after moving the A’s from Kansas City to Oakland, owner Charlie Finley reportedly talks with Toronto representatives about moving the team to Canada.

1975: Finley, the absentee owner who lived in Chicago, was hoping to be in the middle of a three-city “trade” that would send the A’s to Chicago and leave Oakland empty handed. The Chicago Tribune reported the plan would see the White Sox move to Seattle and the A’s relocating to Chicago to become the White Sox.

1978: Finley arranges to sell the A’s for $12 million to Colorado oilman Marvin Davis, who would move the team to Denver. Coliseum and Oakland officials reportedly agree to allow the A’s to break their stadium lease — which had 10 years remaining — on two conditions: Oakland would have to be bought out of the lease for $4 million, and the Giants would have to agree to play half of their games at the Coliseum for 10 years for the right to be the Bay Area’s only team. Oakland planned on using the $4 million to build luxury suites at the Coliseum for Al Davis in order to keep the Raiders in town. The deal fell through when it was discovered earmarking the funds directly to the Raiders’ project would be a misappropriation of public funds.

1979: Still desperate to sell the A’s, Finley begins negotiating with Eddie DeBartolo Sr., who two years earlier purchased the 49ers and put his son Eddie Jr. in charge. DeBartolo planned on moving the A’s to New Orleans. Finley’s hopes of selling were dashed again by the Coliseum lease as well as baseball’s reluctance to sell a team to DeBartolo, who had gambling ties (he owned casinos and horse tracks).

1979: Finley once again agrees to sell the A’s to Marvin Davis for $12 million. The Oakland City Council, though, prevents the A’s from leaving for Denver by voting to keep the Coliseum lease intact.

1980: Finally fed up with trying to get approval on a sale that would ship the A’s out of Oakland, Finley sells the A’s to a local group led by ex-Levi Strauss CEO Walter Haas Jr. that pledges to stay at the Coliseum.

1996: The A’s sign a deal to move to Las Vegas … sort of. The A’s agree to open the season with a six-game homestand at Cashman Field in Vegas while workers put the finishing touches on Mt. Davis at the Coliseum.

2000: MLB lawyers discuss the Oakland A’s as a possible contraction candidate. One proposal was to disband the A’s and have Oakland ownership take over ownership of the Angels. Another concept was to disband the Angels and have the A’s players move to Anaheim to become the Angels.

2000: A’s owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann broach the possibility of moving to San Jose with Major League Baseball.

2002: A’s begin exploring the possibility of a downtown ballpark in Oakland near City Hall.

2004: Ownership begins looking into building a new stadium on Coliseum property in the north parking lot.

2005: New co-owner Lew Wolff, along with co-owner John Fisher, announces his group will focus on building a new stadium somewhere in Oakland.

2006: Wolff says A’s will build a new ballpark at Fremont’s Warm Springs district. The planned move-in date at the 32,000-seat Cisco Field would be as early as 2010.

2009: A’s abandon plans to relocate to Fremont, citing “real and threatened” delays to their proposed project. The hurdles included local opposition to the increased traffic and diminished property values the new ballpark would cause.

2009: City of San Jose leaders begin courting the A’s, who later announce they’ll shift their focus to building a stadium in downtown San Jose. Commissioner Bud Selig later appoints a Blue Ribbon Panel to navigate stadium possibilities, including dealing with San Francisco Giants’ territorial rights in South Bay. It would turn out to be a six-year battle.

2009: City of Oakland officials propose a waterfront ballpark near Jack London Square and along the Oakland Estuary called Victory Court.

2011: Oakland leaders shelve the Victory Court plans and instead propose a new development at the 66th Ave. site called Coliseum City.

2012: Cisco Field is proposed to be built in downtown San Jose, next to SAP Center and San Jose Diridon Station.

2013: MLB’s lawyers deny the A’s request to move to San Jose. San Jose city officials file a lawsuit that eventually makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

2014: The A’s sign a 10-year lease to remain playing at the Coliseum.

2015: The U.S. Supreme Court rejects San Jose’s bid to overrule MLB’s decision to deny the team’s proposed move to the South Bay.

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