Will the Oakland A’s—soon to be of Las Vegas—play home games at the San Francisco Giant’s Oracle Park?
That’s the plan according to Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval, who recently spilled the idea to the Nevada Independent.
The other two options on the table for the A’s are extending their stay at the Oakland Coliseum or moving to Nevada early and sharing a stadium with their Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas Aviators.
Die-hard fans on both sides of the Bay Bridge told The Standard the idea of Oracle Park becoming the temporary home of the A’s seems far-fetched and absurd.
Major League Baseball hasn’t had two teams share a single stadium since the mid-1970s, when the New York Yankees and the New York Mets shared Shea Stadium in Queens while Yankee Stadium was renovated in the Bronx.
For longtime A’s fan and former season ticket holder Efrain Valdez, the A’s and Giants rivalry has been a source of enjoyment, if not a little frustrating at times.
“It’s a good local rivalry that brings people together,” Valdez said, who lives in the East Bay city of Richmond. “Obviously, us as A’s fans have somewhat of a little brother syndrome after the Giants started winning titles and got a new stadium.”
Although the rivalry isn’t as bitter as the one between the Giants and the LA Dodgers, Valdez said there’s always been some saltiness when it comes to A’s fans feelings toward the Giants—especially after the latter blocked the A’s possible move to the South Bay in 2013, claiming territorial rights to the region.
Ironically, those territorial rights were given to the Giants in the early 1990s by then-A’s owner Walter Haas, who signed off on the rights in an attempt to keep the San Francisco team from a rumored move to Florida.
“[Haas] did it so that the Giants could stay, but then they wouldn’t return the favor when the A’s wanted to move,” Valdez said. “There are just some things that the Giants organization and some of the fans do that make this rivalry more bitter than it should be.”
Talks of the A’s trekking across the Bay Bridge for games while their new ballpark in the desert gets built is a dose of comedic deja vu for East Bay fans who have lived through the Raiders’ two relocations from Oakland to both Los Angeles in the 1980s and Las Vegas in 2020, Valdez said.
‘The Biggest Joke in Sports History’
“I think it would be hilarious, honestly,” Valdez said about sharing Oracle Park. “It would be the biggest joke in sports history. The same conversation happened with the Raiders, where people questioned whether they would play at Levi’s with the Niners and even at Cal.”
Thomas Senicka, 60, of San Francisco’s Richmond District, has been a Giants fan since moving to San Francisco from the East Bay in the early 2000s. He often plays his guitar outside of Oracle Park on game days.
When asked if the Giants should allow the A’s to share the facility, Senicka scoffed.
“As far as the A’s coming to play here, they will not respect Oracle, and them playing that many home games will affect the field’s condition,” Senicka said. “Not only that, it’s going to tear up the mentality of their players because they won’t have a permanent residence yet. It won’t matter where they go.”
He believes the Giants are the classier of the two Bay Area baseball teams.
“The money that Peninsula and San Francisco fans bring to the organization makes them a classier act than the A’s,” he said, but added that the increased presence of A’s fans at Oracle Park could benefit the rivalry.
Valdez said he doesn’t think the move over the bridge will actually happen and is an attempt by the A’s to leverage an extension of their lease at the Oakland Coliseum, which ends after the 2024 season.
“It sounds like scheduling will be an issue,” Valdez said. “They hold other events at Oracle other than baseball. I think the fee would be too expensive for the A’s to play in San Francisco. None of it makes sense.”
At a recent game between the Giants and Cincinnati Reds at Oracle Park, Nick Fiske brought his toddler, Weston, from their East Bay home to watch some of the action.
Fiske, who grew up in Fresno but is a Giants fan, has never seen the A’s as a “hated” rival but admits he didn’t grow up within the rivalry’s boundaries.
“I love the A’s,” Fiske said, chuckling. “I wouldn’t see a problem with them coming out here to play at Oracle. It’s a really nice park compared to the Coliseum. The rivalry isn’t that serious. Plus, it would be cool to keep them around in the Bay for a couple more years.”
The MLB, Giants and A’s did not respond to requests for comment.