Speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco yesterday, A's co-owner Lew Wolff said there's no going back to Oakland, even if plans for a new ballpark in Fremont were to fall apart. According to a summary on ESPN.com, he says, "We don't want to start pitting cities against each other, but it's out of the question we'll stay in Oakland."
The issues stated are the ones we've heard for years. The A's don't want to share the Coliseum with the Raiders any more, and no alternative sites were found in Oakland. But in responding to critics who had questions about the execution of the plan, Wolff reminded players this move isn't all that far away. "We're still here, folks," Wolff said. "We're not moving to Timbuktu. We're just moving down the street."
There have been a million diaries on AN in the last few years about the benefits of moving to Fremont, counterbalanced with a feeling of nostalgia around the Coliseum, and underlying sense of betrayal from a team most of us have followed the majority of our lives. Therefore, my insight won't break any new ground... but...
While I hear people tell me that I should like the fact the A's are moving to Fremont, as that will reduce my commute to games from the Peninsula, to me, the ratty old Coliseum has been part of the A's experience. It's where I went to games when I was 11. It's where I took BART trips to from college instead of studying for finals, and where I've taken in about 100 games in the last three seasons. As excited as I'll be for Cisco Field, my enthusiasm will be somewhat tempered.
Also, I recognize the economic realities in play. I am ecstatic that we're not talking about Las Vegas or Portland or Sacramento, even, but that the A's are staying here in the Bay Area where they belong. Hopefully, this once-nomadic franchise can settle down and focus on growing their fan base and team again -- soon.