Local fans heartbroken as sports teams abandon Oakland


Theo Au-Yeung

The Oakland A’s are the third sports team originally located in Oakland to relocate.

Theo Au-Yeung, Staff Reporter

The A’s, Raiders and Warriors have always had a special place in the Oakland community and in the hearts of their loyal, devoted fans. And yet, it’s been one heartbreak after another as they have fled the city. 

In 2019, the Golden State Warriors left behind Oracle Arena in the East Bay and relocated to Chase Center in the heart of San Francisco. In 2020, the Oakland Raiders left for Las Vegas after failed efforts to renovate their Oakland stadium. On April 20, 2023, the Oakland A’s followed suit, initiating a plan to relocate to Las Vegas by 2027 after — like the Raiders — they were unable to renovate their current stadium. 

Senior and loyal Oakland sports fan Chase Johnson has been a fan of the Raiders, A’s and Warriors his whole life. Despite their departures, he said he doesn’t plan on abandoning any of the franchises any time soon. 

“Although these teams have been really bad my entire life, it means a lot to me,” Johnson said. “I have attended and watched games full of ups and downs and even cried when the Raiders made the playoffs, so you could definitely say I’m a diehard.” 

But, as those teams have fled Oakland one by one, Johnson’s loyalty has been tested.

“When the Warriors moved, I was actually happy because the stadium now is closer. I do miss ‘Roaracle,’ but the new stadium is fantastic,” Johnson said. “But when the Raiders moved it definitely hurt because the culture of the Oakland Raiders was something that can’t be repeated… Oakland Raiders fans are some of the most hard-core and dedicated in the world.”

“The A’s moving definitely hurt the most,” Johnson added. They most likely aren’t moving to Las Vegas for a little while and, although I’ll cherish the remainder of the time that they are still here, it just won’t feel the same knowing they’ll be gone in a couple years.”

Although the decision for the A’s to move out of Oakland proved to be a major shock for many, it has felt inevitable over the past few years. 

“The owner of the A’s, John Fisher, is one of the richest owners in the MLB. He should take a page out of Joe Lacob’s book and fund the stadium! It would be good for Oakland and I think good for his bottom-line,” history teacher Annie Miller said. 

Oakland A’s owner John Fisher has been notorious for refusing to spend money, preferring to let fan favorite players sign with other teams for mediocre contracts rather than spend money to invest in his roster. Consequently, it is no surprise that fan attendance at A’s games has declined massively, from roughly 20,000 fans per game in 2017 and 2018 from 2017-18, to just 10,000 over the past three years.

“It’s seriously a bummer,” College & Financial Aid Advisor, Jonathan Dhyne said. “I know how much Oakland loves their sports and I remember growing up watching really good A’s teams with their very loyal and devoted fans always there [to] support. It’s just a bummer to see the teams fail to reciprocate that kind of support back to the fans.”

These recent moves out of Oakland bring up questions about the divide between the business, entertainment and cultural dimensions of sports. Many sports fans at Burlingame said they believe that a team’s culture should matter more than their finances.

“Sports were made as a source of entertainment, a place for people of all walks of life to enjoy the game and come together to support a team, not a place for rich owners and greedy businessmen to accumulate revenue from loyal fans,” senior Anthony Saccuman said. 

Die-hard Raiders fan and counselor Traci Kreppel said she can only imagine the heartbreak that many A’s fans feel after experiencing a similar feeling during the Raiders relocation. 

“If you ever went to any Raider games back in Oakland, all you saw was black and silver,” Kreppel said. “There were like, no fans of other teams because they were all afraid of Oakland. Just having everyone there rooting for the Raiders was such a great feeling, and it just isn’t the same anymore in Las Vegas.”  

It’s hard to imagine that some of the owners of these teams care about their fans’ loyalty and devotion. Oakland fans have historically been some of the most raucous and rowdy fans in all of sports — yet, they have been back-stabbed time and time again by each team’s corporate owners.. 

“I think these teams bring together communities, like when you see another person walking down the street wearing a Warriors jersey and you say ‘Go Dubs!’ as you walk by them,” Dhyne said. “I think that connection is what is so valuable about sports communities and what is lost when you take away these teams.” 

Even though they are heartbroken, Johnson and Kreppel said they will remain as loyal and devoted as ever to the teams they grew up with. 

“Like I said, I will forever be a fan of these teams [Raiders and A’s],” Johnson said. “I’ve been a part of a great community as a fan but there’s no doubt that these teams have let me down quite a lot.”