On April 19, the Oakland A’s announced an agreement to purchase land in Las Vegas to build a new ballpark after over 50 years in Oakland. This move comes after decades of tense negotiations between the A’s and the city, with the two sides failing to make progress on a stadium at Oakland’s Howard Terminal. This agreement is expected to put the A’s in Las Vegas by 2027.
Many A’s fans at Berkeley High School feel betrayed by their team. Ann Sperske, a history teacher at BHS, has been going to A’s games since she was 13.
“When I moved up here, it was like everybody in my neighborhood was an A’s fan,” she said. “When I got to high school and college, it was just really accessible to get to the Coliseum. So I went to a ton of games.”
For some A’s fans like BHS junior Trey Johnson, whose A’s connection runs deep in his family, the team’s move to Las Vegas represents more than a loss of a franchise. It’s also a connection to a childhood that feels like it’s slipping away. “I started becoming an A’s fan when I was a little kid. So it kind of feels like something’s moving on,” said Johnson.
Junior Elan Zakim, another long-time A’s fan, expressed his concerns for the future of the fanbase. “The A’s have been known to have some of the craziest fans in the entire league, specifically because they’ve been in Oakland for such a long time. When they go to Las Vegas, they’re not going to have that. It’s going to be a bunch of tourists,” he said.
A’s owner John Fisher is known as one of the stingiest owners in baseball, and many A’s fans are upset at the way he has handled this situation. “He’s very selfish, in my opinion,” said Johnson. Sperske said she will continue to attend A’s games as long as they are in Oakland, but she will bring signs protesting Fisher.
The move shattered fans’ hearts, but as Johnson put it: “It doesn’t feel right to be (with) another team.” Sperske’s message to the franchise: “Y’all are crazy.”