Oakland A's fans rally for their team in anticipation of Thursday's decisive game against the Detroit Tigers. Stephanie Chuang reports.
Winner moves on, loser goes home – as the Oakland A’s faced off against the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the ALDS, fans said they were nervous about more than just ace pitcher Justin Verlander: they were also anxious about the future of the home of the A’s.
For the last 45 years, the Coliseum has been home to the Athletics. In a mystery video that went viral in the last week, the voice of Roy Steele narrates why the Coliseum is the real home to the A’. The video was pulled off of the Major League Baseball (MLB) website, but then reappeared on YouTube. In it, Steele says the stadium isn’t “pretty or fancy,” but adds that “to a city, to a team, it’s not a building – it’s home.”
That’s exactly how Steve Bogue feels. The East Bay native said he has been a fan of the A’s since the team’s move to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968.
“My grandma got season tickets when the A’s first came to town,” Bogue described under a Raiders tent in the parking lot. He said tailgating has become a family tradition.
His daughter, Ashley Bogue, said she drives up from Los Angeles where she now lives, just to catch important A’s games like Game 5 Thursday night.
“There’s nothing like the Coliseum and Oak, it’s our home,” said the 27-year-old. “It’s where we’ve been and where we should stay.”
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is feeling confident that momentum is growing on her city’s side, despite the City of San Jose’s lawsuit against MLB for what it said was violating antitrust laws and illegally preventing an A’s move to the South Bay. Quan said the world’s third largest real estate company is now at the table, interested in investing in an entertainment destination-type development that could include a new stadium.
“We own our land, we have deep pocketed investors and we’ve already done the [environmental impact report]. We’re ready to go and build,” said Quan in her Oakland office. “San Jose doesn’t have site control, doesn’t have land, doesn’t have any money right now – and if they do land something, they have to take it to the voters.”
The City of Oakland estimates that the A’s will bring eight to ten million dollars to local businesses should they reach the World Series.
The San Francisco Giants have claimed San Jose is part of its team’s territory. For Alison Harper, the general manager of Public House and Mijita restaurants at AT&T Park, the focus isn’t on the A’s location, it’s on the Giants’ performance. Harper said the difference between the Giants reaching the postseason or not comes out to roughly $100,000 for the month of October.
As for an Oakland team stealing away San Jose or South Bay fans, Harper dubbed it unlikely.
“I, personally, am not that concerned. I think Giants fans aren’t just going to switch just because they have a little less distance to travel,” said Harper.