The Oakland Athletics plan to play the 2024 season at the Oakland Coliseum, the final year of their lease. They plan to open their new Las Vegas stadium for the 2028 season.
That leaves three seasons where the A’s would need a home, and the team wouldn’t make that decision alone. Major League Baseball would work with the A’s, but the players’ union would need to approve preliminary plans, which could include one or more makeshift shelters.
The union has no say over the A’s move, but the league has to negotiate the implications of the move – working conditions – with the union.
“The logistics and the impact negotiations will put us at the center,” said Major League Baseball Players Assn. said CEO Tony Clark on Saturday.
The A’s have said they could share minor-league stadium in Las Vegas with the local Triple-A team. They could play some games in minor league stadiums – in Reno, Sacramento or elsewhere. They could ask Oakland for a lease extension or ask the San Francisco Giants for permission to share their ballpark with others.
MLB owners must first approve the move to Las Vegas. At that point, Clark said, the union will enter talks, particularly if minor-league stadiums are part of the transition home plan.
“We would have a conversation about the field,” he said. “We would have a conversation about the conditions and the trip. We would have discussions about the amenities, housing and support that would be provided around the ballpark and in the surrounding area for the players and their families.”
The president of the Las Vegas minor-league team has said he may need to replace the turf with artificial turf to accommodate the pitch that the triple A team and A’s would use almost every day. The minor league stadium has no roof and the current 10 day forecast for Las Vegas shows maximum temperatures of between 106 and 115 degrees.
“We would have to make sure that the quality of that turf, if that happens, or the quality of the grass and the support for it, if that happens, is up to par,” Clark said.
“You talk about playing conditions. We will engage in this conversation in one way or another to ensure that the quality of play and standard to which players are accustomed and the security required for players to play on any surface is maintained .”
Should the A’s decide to play in multiple temporary homes, Clark said the union would be involved again — a point he says the MLBPA reinforced in the recent investigation into whether the Rays will become a two-city team that splits its home games between Montreal and Montreal in the Tampa Bay area.
Clark was a player in 2003 and 2004 when the Expos split the last two years of their existence by splitting home games between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico. This included, among other things, securing accommodation options for players and their families in two hometowns.
“Because of some of the rhetoric that’s been circulating regarding Tampa over the past few years, we’ve reconsidered that,” he said, “to make sure there’s an appreciation for all the important parts and their part of the conversation that we’re on.” have to attend.”