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Should the A’s Move to Montreal?

A’s Beat Writer Susan Slusser

Both those tweets tell an interesting tale. There were only around 35,000 fans in attendance for a 4 game series in Oakland. The cavernous stadium that has clearly seen better days was empty for a 4 game series that featured everyone’s favorite pitcher, Bartolo Colon. Overall, attendance at the now called Oakland County Coliseum has not been in the top half of AL team since their 2003 run and not in the top 3 since 1991. What could be the cause of this, even when there were good A’s teams (2012, 2006) did not have the best attendance and even the 2003 A’s were ranked 7th out of 14 AL teams?

Eric Molina-Flickr

Let us look at their stadium. The Coliseum is not the best stadium possible. Shared with the Oakland Raiders (for now), the stadium has never been called the most beautiful or well-kept stadium in baseball. It is old, at least to me not very appealing and offers very few reasons to come out to the ballpark. It’s not even just the product on the field, even when the A’s team has been competitive their attendance hasn’t exactly been the best. Many people express distaste for the stadium, including the A’s who have been searching for a spot to build a new stadium in Oakland, but have not had luck in finding somewhere yet. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s wish to find a location to build a new stadium by the end of 2018 and they have stated they want to stay in Oakland. Should they stay in Oakland, though?

Tolivero

Montreal, the baseball city without a baseball team. Ever since the Expos became the perennial NLDS losers the Washington Nationals in 2005, people have been pushing for a year long return to baseball in the city where Hall of Famers like Vlad Guerrero and Randy Johnson got their starts. It seems that at the very least, the new mayor of Montreal wants to push for a baseball team back in their city. Oakland is a name that has been thrown around as a possible team to move to Montreal, with the poor attendance, reluctance to build a new stadium and other teams like the Raiders moving to other cities it could be a golden opportunity for the A’s to move to a better market. There are two exhibition games played yearly by the Blue Jays in Montreal. Normally. if these are played on the weekend the attendance is over 50,000. This year, the two games were played on a weekday night where they averaged over 25,000 people in attendance at both games. This is still more than the average A’s attendance over the past 3 years, in fact, their average attendance hasn’t been above 25,000 per game since 2005.

Overall though, the Oakland market seems to be dying. The city has given the A’s the cold shoulder, they seem okay with the A’s leaving. The A’s have a decent product, with outstanding rookies Matt Olson and Matt Chapman along with a strong farm system that is almost ready to be in the Majors. Personally. I think those talented prospects deserve to be seen and the best place for them to be seen is in Montreal. The Rays are not moving, as much as people say it they have already broken ground for the new Rays stadium which could hopefully increase attendance for them. The A’s are the perfect team to pack up and move to Montreal, a city that has been begging for a winning ballclub. Last time, the Expos traded some legendary players for scraps, the A’s are towards the end of the rebuild and WILL win soon. Getting them to a larger market like Montreal will help them win with people actually going to the ballpark. Montreal is such a unique city, a place that deserves baseball (and probably a new stadium). So, if I was the owner of the Athletics, I would tell Oakland we either get a new stadium or we are packing up to Montreal!

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