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The Oakland A’s are almost certainly moving to the desert after the team agreed to purchase land near the Las Vegas Strip.
READ: OAKLAND A’S REACH AGREEMENT TO BUY LAND IN LAS VEGAS
The team is expected to move in just a few years, bringing the organization’s Bay Area history to an unceremonious close.
Despite a history of success and several World Series championships in Oakland, the team’s quality has rapidly degraded in recent years.
The A’s are undoubtedly the worst team in Major League Baseball this season, with a brutal 4-16 record. But even that undersells just how bad the team is this year.
After just 20 games, the team has been outscored by 85 runs. Meaning that opposing teams have outscored the A’s by over four runs per game.
Much of the blame has been levied at team owner John Fisher, whose penny pinching ways have seen the team’s talent systematically devastated.
The A’s organization has, at least in part, attempted to work with the city to redevelop the unimaginably bad Oakland Coliseum. But as is often the case with billionaires looking to build new stadiums, they’ve wanted taxpayer help to do so.
With the Vegas move though, Fisher is likely to get exactly what he wants: a massive subsidy from the city to fund a stadium that almost exclusively benefits him.
Oakland A’s Move Benefits John Fisher Most Of All
Baseball revenues have skyrocketed, with the league announcing record numbers for 2022.
READ: MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL EXPECTS TO BREAK REVENUE RECORDS IN 2022 SEASON
Under new television agreements, every team in the league is guaranteed $60 million, before local deals.
Even under these conservative assumptions, the A’s likely brought in over $100 million in revenue from television contracts alone.
That doesn’t account for merchandise sales, revenue sharing distributions, ticket sales, however meager they might be, parking revenue and food and beverage profits.
The team’s estimated payroll this season though, is $59 million, according to Fangraphs.
Obviously there are other expenses above and beyond payroll, but Fisher’s clearly made it a priority to ensure greater profits ahead of a compelling product.
And baseball is ultimately, a product.
The A’s will almost certainly get public funding from Las Vegas to pay for their stadium, of which profits will go entirely to to John Fisher.
Given Fisher’s track record in Oakland, there’s no guarantee that increased profits, off the backs of taxpayers, will be reinvested in the team.
Why should he, when it’s obvious the team can still make substantial profits while putting out an embarrassingly bad roster?
And when those profits will be even easier to come by with a new stadium benefiting from novelty and attracting tourists?
Fisher’s management has made the A’s into an embarrassment.
It seems obvious that owners like him enjoy benefitting from baseball teams being an investment that doesn’t require a competitive product to turn a profit.
Instead of being punished for viewing the A’s as a real estate venture to take money from taxpayers while providing little in return, Fisher is being rewarded with an upgrade.
One CommentLeave a Reply
Are you kidding me?
The A’s are top ten in MLB winning percentage this century while getting bottom five attendance and having the absolute worst facilities. That’s ‘poor management’?
These ‘fans’ have been free-riding for decades not supporting the team with ticket sales or new facilities while the club put a winner on the field year after year. Of course someone else came calling with a better deal and of course the owners took it.
Oakland ‘fans’ have now run off their NFL, NBA and MLB franchises all within five years of each other.
What’s the common denominator? Terrible ‘fans’ and the anti-development policymakers they elect every two years.