weather icon Mostly Clear

A’s owner talks selling the team, Raiders, relocation, more

Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher gave an exclusive interview to the Review-Journal’s Mick Akers on Tuesday about his team’s planned move to Las Vegas. Here are several of his key quotes.

On the timeline for a relocation vote by the owners:

“We just recently submitted our relocation application. The commissioner has established a relocation committee that is going to review that, and it will then make its way to the other committees that will be reviewing it, and then to the full group of owners to vote on it.”

On why he hasn’t spoken to the media until now:

“The reason that I haven’t been as outwardly involved in media to date is that I really wanted the people running the team, Dave Kaval on the business side and Billy Beane and David Forst and others on the baseball side, to be the voice of the team.”

On whether he’d consider selling the team:

“I have not considered selling the team. I’ve now owned the team with my partner Lew Wolff, it’s shocking really how the time flies, but since 2005. Our goal since then has been to find a new home and build a new home for our team.”

On the reason why he’s been so insistent on getting a new stadium:

“The whole reason that we’re building a new stadium is so we can have not just a competitive team, but, we hope, a team that can have the kind of success, for example, that the Golden Knights have had, winning the Stanley Cup in six years. If we can win the World Series within our first six years, that would be an incredible goal to have.”

On what he thinks the impact a new stadium in Las Vegas will have on the A’s finances:

“We expect that our revenues will be considerably higher in our new ballpark than they have been to date, and that that will enable us to have a higher payroll and keep our young talent around, as opposed to sadly seeing them go to other teams, and it will allow us to be out there signing free agents.”

On the accusation by critics that the A’s have deliberately tanked the past two seasons to drive down attendance and further justify relocation:

“Nothing could be further from the truth. The A’s this year will lose $40 million with a $60 million payroll. And the losses that the ownership has had here with this team over the last several years have been very significant. We have done everything we can to try and build ourselves back up to being a highly competitive team again.”

On whether the A’s are considering a fixed dome for the new Las Vegas ballpark, or are they committed to a partially retractable roof:

“The extent that we can make the stadium feel like it has a connection to the outside is really important. The most important thing is when people are inside the ballpark, that they are comfortable. We haven’t made a final decision yet. Even if it’s a fixed-dome, it will have large openings and a lot of clarity in the roof structure and walls, that it will have the feeling of being outdoors even though you have a roof over your head.”

On whether there’s anything he’d like to do in Vegas that’s completely different from what the rest of MLB currently offers:

“One thing I would say about ‘is Vegas different,’ the answer is of course. Vegas is Vegas. They call going up to the major leagues, ‘Going to The Show,’ and I think it’s a great way to describe Vegas, because Vegas is The Show. We want to create an environment that’s great for visitors and locals alike.”

On the A’s relationship with the Raiders before they left Oakland:

“When the Raiders were leaving Oakland we were co-tenants at the Coliseum, and the A’s probably didn’t make it the easiest on [owner] Mark [Davis] and the Raiders as they left town. That’s on me, that was my responsibility. I told him that. … I told him that I apologized to the extent that we made those mistakes when the Raiders were moving to Oakland. That was my fault and I was sorry for it. Having said all of that, I think they have done a fantastic job.”

On why the A’s weren’t able to reach a deal with the city of Oakland on a new stadium:

“The reality is I don’t think it’s about blaming somebody. The reality is, in Oakland there were other significant priorities that made it very difficult for the city to be able to make the project work and happen.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
A brief history of the Oakland A’s

MLB owners have voted to allow the Oakland Athletics to relocate to Las Vegas. They bring 123 years of MLB history. Here are some highlights — and lowlights — that have made them one of the most unique franchises in pro sports.

A’s set to become 1st MLB franchise to relocate since 2005

The Oakland A’s appear headed for Las Vegas after MLB team owners approved the sport’s first relocation since 2005. Here’s a look at franchises that have moved since 1953.