Rob Manfred expresses doubts about Athletics stadium plan in Oakland

As the Athletics work to make their plan for a new waterfront stadium in Oakland a reality, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t entirely sure the franchise’s vision for Howard Terminal will be realized.

Manfred caught up with SiriusXM’s Chris Russo for an interview Friday night during the World Series, where he spoke at length about the A’s and Tampa Bay Rays’ efforts to build new baseball stadiums near their current locations.

While the commissioner expressed optimism about Ray’s ownership of building a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, he had doubts about the current situation in Oakland.

“I think the mayor of Oakland went to great lengths to try and get it done in Oakland,” Manfred told Russo (h/t Tampa Bay Times). “It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”

Manfred declined to speak to the media on Saturday and when asked to clarify his comments on the A’s stadium project, the commissioner said: “I’m done talking about Oakland,” per Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic.

The A’s have made significant progress in their search for a new baseball stadium at Howard Terminal, although it’s unlikely the Oakland City Council will give a binding vote on the project in 2022.

Oakland mayoral candidate and District 6 councilman Loren Taylor recently told NBC Sports Bay Area that although the stadium project appears to have stalled at the moment, behind the scenes progress is still being made.

“Sometimes maybe less noise outside means we can get more work done behind closed doors,” Taylor said. “We have a number of issues that still need to be worked out before a final decision is made, not the least of which is the infrastructure gap [costs] outside of.”

State and federal grants have been secured to fund the project, but due to inflation and other rising costs, the ultimate goal has increased.

And while the A’s are trying to strike a deal in Oakland, the organization has also been exploring the option of a move to Las Vegas — something team owner Dave Kaval has described as “parallel paths.”

When Manfred looks at the two situations, he understands why the A’s take a different path.

“I think the A’s took a prudent approach given the lack of pace in Oakland to explore the Las Vegas alternative,” Manfred told Russo. “I think they need to look for an alternative.”

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Manfred said he sees things differently in Tampa, noting that “baseball can thrive in the area.”

A’s fans would certainly like to see baseball continue to thrive in Oakland after football went with the departure of the now Las Vegas Raiders.

It remains to be seen when – or if – this wish will become a reality.


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