A's fans stage protest calling for new ownership
OAKLAND - Sunny skies and a beautiful day for baseball brought Oakland A's fans out to root for their home team Friday night.
"We have so much spirit, so many spirited fans here in the East Bay that want to keep sports here," said Haley Ganser, an Alameda mom whose son Beckett got a hug from the A's mascot Stomper as they enjoyed a school tailgate party.
"I've been to a lot of games," said Ruben Chan, 9, of Oakland who was there decked out in his baseball gear with his father.
Some lifelong A's fans staged a protest outside the Coliseum before Friday's game against the Cincinnati Reds.
It was the first home game, since the Oakland A's announced last Friday that they had signed a binding land contract to build a new stadium in Las Vegas and move the team there in 2027.
"Once I saw the A's statement come out I was furious. I was furious," said Mike Davis-Adams, an Oakland resident who said he's been an A's fan since 1982, "I'm out here to support the fight to keep my team rooted in Oakland."
"Angry. Very angry. The ownership group has been terrible to us these last two years. We feel gaslit, lied to, strung along. They said they are rooted in Oakland and they never had the stomach to be part of this community," said Chris Scott, of Oakland
On their signs, messages blaming the A's owner John Fisher, son of the Gap retail founders, for walking away during negotiations with the City of Oakland over a new waterfront ballpark at the Port.
"He expects anybody to give him free money at this point. He's trying to go to Las Vegas and get a free handout," said Gabriel Hernandez, an Oakland resident, "He needs to sell the team to someone who wants to keep the team in Oakland."
Many are sad that their team who's had the slogan "Rooted in Oakland" could soon to be uprooted.
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"I'm still all-in and I"m hoping to come as long as they're still here," said Erin Proudfoot, an Oakland resident who was tail-gating with her family and had a giant Oakland city flag on top of their vehicle.
Some people say, though, they probably won't stay fans if the A's strike out for Vegas.
"We would go in for other reasons but not for the A's," said Proudfoot.
"They're not communicating with fans. They're not listening to us, so no," said Lisa Edwards, who added that she has many good memories of attending games with her children and late husband.
"For a lot of people this is community, this is church, this is family, this is memories. And so, sports goes deeper than money and we should have an ownership group that understands that," said Scott.
The A's current lease at the Coliseum ends in 2024, raising questions about where the team will play, since their plans call for a new stadium in Las Vegas to open in 2027.
Some fans say they still plan to stage a reverse boycott June 13th. They are trying to fill up the Coliseum to show the A's owner that fans are not the problem, and show the community support the team would be leaving behind.