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Elephant Rumblings: Holding out hope for Sacramento

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Olympian Nieto sets high bar: Walk the aisle Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

Susan Slusser at the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted the pros of Sacramento hosting the A’s from 2025 to 2027, after the team’s lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires but before the new ballpark in Vegas opens, which is projected to happen ahead of the 2028 season.

In many ways, Sacramento is a more attractive destination than Las Vegas, and mayor Darrel Steinberg believes that providing temporary housing for the A’s would be a good opportunity for the city to demonstrate its worthiness of an MLB expansion team.

“I am over the moon about the possibility,” Steinberg said yesterday. However, lest he seem too shamelessly opportunistic with respect to the A’s situation, the mayor also declared that he’s been a vocal advocate of the A’s remaining in Oakland.

Slusser points out that Sacramento is bigger than Las Vegas both in terms of population and its TV market. I can bear witness that the summertime weather in our state capital can get pretty balmy, but nights are reliably cool enough that a stadium roof is not a necessity.

Sacramento is a growing metropolitan area. The NBA’s Kings enjoyed record attendance last season.

I think the easiest and best option for the A’s would be to extend their lease at the Coliseum, but there is a lot of bad blood between the franchise, its fans, and the City of Oakland. Sacramento is just 82 miles away—and that is probably its biggest advantage over Salt Lake City, which has also recently emerged as a possible temporary landing spot. Sacramento is also a significantly larger city and market than SLC.

Not everyone is as gung-ho as AN’s own Nico on Sacramento. Oakland 68’s president Jorge Leon said that “Sacramento would be a one-night stand ... [the city] is getting used.” Leon vowed to urge resistance among Sacramento fans and leaders if tangible efforts toward such a move materialize.

To Leon’s point: if the A’s leave Oakland, it will be a tragedy and travesty no matter where they end up. But Sacramento still sounds one helluva lot better than South Jordan to me. It’s a better temporary—and permanent—home than Vegas, too. I could maybe even see myself as a fan of the Sacramento A’s. Under new ownership, anyway.

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