MLB owners have approved the Oakland A’s move to Las Vegas, paving the way for MLB’s first franchise relocation since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington and became the Nationals in 2005.
Here’s what this means from a Uni Watch standpoint:
- The A’s have one year remaining on their current stadium lease, so they will play a lame-duck season at the Oakland Coliseum in 2024.
- Speaking of: MLB teams often wear a “Final Season” patch for their final year in a given stadium, but that’s when they’re tearing the ballpark down and building a new one. Will the A’s wear a similar type of patch when they’re leaving town, or would that just be salt in the wound for the fan base?
- The team’s new stadium in Las Vegas will not be ready until 2028, so the team will play at a rotating series of sites in 2025, ’26, and ’27. Per USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale, “They will play games in Summerlin, Nevada, home of the A’s Triple-A team; Oracle Park in San Francisco, where the San Francisco Giants play; and perhaps also the [Oakland] Coliseum.”
- It’s not clear, at least to me, what the team’s official name will be during those three interstitial seasons. Will they be the Oakland A’s? The Bay Area A’s? The Las Vegas A’s? The Nevada A’s? The Swingin’ A’s? If they change to anything other than “Oakland,” will they get new road jerseys?
- The A’s are among the 10 MLB teams that do not yet have a City Connect uniform and are therefore assumed to be getting one in 2024. It’s hard to see how they can have a city-based uni design when they’re basically going to be itinerant, but I imagine Nike will come up with something just as a retail placeholder.
- The A’s also do not have a sleeve ad. I’m hoping that the team’s state of flux will make them unattractive to potential advertisers, at least until they set up shop in Las Vegas.
- It’s not yet clear whether the team’s relocation will also prompt a redesign. Personally, I love their current look and don’t want them to change it, but it’s easy to imagine them switching to something more glitzy, more Vegas-y, right? Hmmmm.
- Once the move takes place, the A’s will be, I believe, the first MLB franchise to have operated under the same team name in four different cities: Philadelphia, Kansas City, Oakland, and Las Vegas.
That’s everything I can think of at the moment. If there are any other uni-related implications I’m overlooking, feel free to post them in the comments.
Finally, to our Oakland readers: I’m really, really sorry for your loss. With the Raiders and Warriors also leaving the city in recent years, this is obviously a rough time to be an Oakland sports fan. My thoughts are with you.