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The Oakland Athletics are packing their bags for Las Vegas. And A’s legend Reggie Jackson isn’t happy about it.
During a conversation with Sportico Thursday, Jackson ripped the City of Oakland for their inability to keep the A’s and — well — every sports team in the town.
“You’re going to lose the team,” Jackson said. “The city, I thought, really needed to do something. Save the A’s. You lost the Warriors. You lost the Raiders. What the hell’s wrong with you? You can’t see that coming?”
The A’s reached an agreement to buy 49 acres of land on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, and the plan is to build a new stadium that will seat 30,000 fans and cost $1.5 billion.
This move comes just three years after the Raiders moved to Sin City and four years after the Warriors slipped across the bay to San Francisco.
“The fans don’t deserve that. I blame the people running the deal. You’ve got to keep the team for the benefit of the city. They lost all three of them.”
Reggie Jackson is an Oakland A’s legend.
Jackson was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics in 1966. The team moved to Oakland in 1968.
He played for the club for nine seasons from 1967 to 1975 and was named AL MVP in 1973. A 14-time MLB All-Star, Jackson won five World Series rings, including three with the A’s.
Jackson recently claimed he tried to buy the team with Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen and former Vancouver Canucks owner John McCaw in the early 2000s. But then-commissioner Bud Selig blocked the deal.
“Bud didn’t give me the team, and I think we could’ve gotten something done in Oakland,” Jackson said. “In the same sentence, I think the Fishers [the A’s current owners] did their best trying to get something done.”
But it’s just not working out there in Oakland.
“No matter how wealthy you are, you can’t continue to lose money every year, Jackson said. “So, you have to go whether you want to stay or not. I always thought they bought the team to try to keep it there.”
The A’s still play at Oakland Coliseum, which opened in 1966. Last year, the team averaged less than 10,000 fans per game — MLB’s lowest attendance.
It’s gotten so bad there are actually possums living in the broadcast booths.
But it’s not going so well on the field, either. This season, the A’s have the lowest payroll in the majors at around $60 million. And the team’s 4-16 record currently ties the Kansas City Royals for worst in the league.
Not even the great Reggie Jackson can fix this mess.