A letter from John Fisher

November 16th, 2023

Dear Fans of the Oakland A's,

I know that today is a very difficult day with the vote by MLB owners allowing for the A's relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas. I share a lot of those emotions – sadness that our team will be leaving its home since 1968, pride in what we have accomplished together on and off the field in Oakland, but also hope and optimism about the future of the A's in Las Vegas. 

Since 2005, when Lew Wolff and I bought the team, we focused our efforts on developing a new privately financed stadium to position the A's for long-term, sustained success. From the beginning, I wanted to stay in the Bay Area, which has been home to my family for generations and to the Athletics for over fifty years.

Even before we bought the team, it was clear that the A's needed a new stadium, with the Coliseum being one of the oldest ballparks in the game and with huge repair and maintenance issues. We spent nearly all our time and effort exploring multiple locations in Oakland, Fremont, San Jose and then Laney College, the Coliseum and Howard Terminal in Oakland. For the past 2 1/2 years, we also explored Las Vegas in parallel with those efforts. 

I fell in love with the history and community around the A's from the beginning of my affiliation with the team. I felt that I was in a unique position to succeed in building a new home for our team, which was critical to having a sustainable, winning team on the field for A's fans. However, after the last 6 years of working on keeping the A's in Oakland, the hurdles proved too great. We were unable to get a binding agreement from the City, with rising costs of infrastructure making it harder and harder for the city to pay for its part of the project, and organized opposition from maritime interests raising significant doubts we could ever get a stadium built. 

In May 2021, MLB gave us permission to explore Las Vegas as an alternative market out of concern for the rate of progress being made by the A's in Oakland. The need for a new stadium was reinforced in the 2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the Baseball Player's Association, which stated that the A's must have a binding agreement for a new stadium by January 2024 or lose revenue sharing. Despite our best efforts, including 6 years of work and $100 million spent on securing a stadium in Oakland, we came to the difficult conclusion that we would not be able to have a binding agreement with Oakland by the January 2024 deadline. The threat of a referendum delaying the process further confirmed that decision. 

I want to thank the Mayor's office, the Port, the City Council, the State, and most importantly A's fans and our own employees, who were all dedicated to trying to make this work in Oakland. I believe the collective motivations of everyone involved were honorable and I appreciate all the work that was done in support of this effort. I also understand their disappointment and frustration, and the desire in the media to place all the blame on me and the A's organization for the inability to make this work. All I can say is that we worked as hard as possible for 6 years to find a solution in Oakland. 

To our fans, I am truly sorry. While I know that today is a sad day, I hope that it is also the start of a new and bright future for the A's. 

John Fisher
Athletics Managing Partner and Owner