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Crosscurrents
This is a season-long series, looking at what is the A's final season in Oakland, which may mark the end of major league team sports in a city that boasted all four a half-century ago. So, sit back, relax, and listen to a dirge of what is and what once was.

A's open what could be last season in Oakland

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 2023
Quintin Soloviev
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 2023

Welcome to "Foul Ball," a season-long series, looking at what could be the A's final season in Oakland, which may mark the end of major league team sports in a city that boasted all four a half-century ago. So, sit back, relax, and listen to a dirge of what is and what once was.

Click the play button above to listen to the story

The A's opened their 56th — and possibly last season in Oakland — hosting the Cleveland Guardians at the Coliseum, before an announced crowd of 13,522. It was the smallest opening day attendance since the A's arrived in 1968. For the next three home games, the A's drew an average crowd of 5,000 -- about half of what they averaged last season, when they had the lowest attendance in major league baseball. Just five seasons ago, the A's averaged 20,000 fans a game.

For those who passed through the turnstiles last week , instead of joining spirited protests in the parking lot, the A's lost a 6-0 shutout to Cleveland. The team with the lowest payroll in the big leagues — having traded or allowed its best players to go elsewhere — lost four of its first five games.

Last year, the owners of the A's announced the team would be relocating to Las Vegas to a new billion-dollar, domed ballpark to be constructed within four years. The MLB owners approved the move, unanimously.

The A's lease expires after this season. But this week, the A's and the City of Oakland began talks on a lease extension that could keep the team at the Coliseum for the next three to five years — until the Las Vegas ballpark can be built, or if the move to Sin City falls apart. Otherwise, the A's could play their home games the next few years in Sacramento, Fresno or even Salt Lake City.

Recently, I sat down to speak with Dave Newhouse, the longtime sports columnist with the old Oakland Tribune and the author of “Goodbye Oakland,” about the dreary plight of the A’s – on and off the field.

This Foul Ball episode aired in the April 4, 2024 episode of Crosscurrents.

Crosscurrents
Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.