The Oakland Athletics can’t sell out every seat in their stadium, even during the playoffs. The Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, where the team has called home since 1968, is sort of a dump, especially when compared to the many new awe-inspiring baseball cathedrals across the country. In September, while the team was in the heart of a pennant race, putrid odors were detected in the dugout.
The Oakland Athletics need a new place to play baseball. But where should the stadium be built? San Jose doesn’t have a Major League team and wants them to come to their city. However, legal issues are causing delays. Plus, the city of Oakland really, really wants the team to stay.
First off, there are the economics to consider. The A’s generate about $5 million in tax revenue for the city, plus the tourism dollars. There are also the thousands of jobs that the Coliseum generates. Finally, there is a matter of city pride. Downtown Oakland will never be compared to Rodeo Drive. However, a magnificent beautiful new ball park will certainly keep that area of the city clean and keep a tight lid on crime.
And what of the Oakland fans? A group of diehards known as the TDK Collective are getting their voice out there. They desperately want the team to stay in Oakland. They are using art as a way to show how much they care. Their M.O. is spray painting Athletics-inspired murals on the walls of local businesses, after they are given permission by the owners of course.
Spearheading the campaign to keep the A’s in Oakland is an art teacher named Francisco Sanchez, a life long Athletics fan who feels the murals can have an impact. “There’s also a lot of people that want them to stay, so we wanted to make that message visual. I wanted to bring back memories to loyal fans that have been out here for generations.”
The A’s finished the 2013 season with an impressive 96 wins, finishing in first place in the American League West. The team was eliminated in the ALDS by the Detroit Tigers in five games. With an impressive core of young players that include Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Céspedes, no matter where the team winds up playing, they should be a force to reckon with for years to come.