With the NFL coming back to Los Angeles next season, the league and two teams are certainly excited over the developments. Unfortunately, the fate of three teams hung in the balance with this move. For the once-again-L.A. Rams, their return to the Golden State is secure. But for the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, some details remain unclear. If the dust settles as expected, the Chargers will join the Rams in the two-team stadium at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season. However if things change once again, the Raiders could still find themselves moving from the Bay Area.
If Oakland does lose its football team, the biggest winner could end up being the Oakland A’s.
The reason is because Oakland is the last of America’s former infatuation with multi-purpose stadiums. Starting with Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium through countless other cities and purposes, dual sports stadiums dominated the 60s and 70s. As decades moved along, though, the trend began to die as each sport needed its own kind of stadium to adequately hold its events. In time, teams moved on to their own stadiums.
Since the Miami Marlins’ move out of its multi-purpose home a few years back, Oakland’s O.co stadium became the last of the dying breed. In 2014, the A’s wisely renewed its lease for the next ten years despite being frustrated about the park. However, as USA Today notes, with the Raiders looking like they’ll stay in town, the A’s now must decide if they’ll stay at the antiquated stadium or seek its own stadium within the county. If the Raiders somehow have a change in fate, the A’s could be the last team left in town once the Warriors move across the Bay–a major boost to the team’s leverage for a new Oakland home.
All this talk doesn’t give proper attention to the fans of Oakland that may suffer most. Right now, their sports history looks mostly intact, but the city is no stranger to losing their teams. Could it happen all over again? Looks like we’ll have to stay tuned as this saga could still turn a few more times.