Expansion Series 7: Oakland

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, every die-hard sports fan has missed out on some key events that otherwise would have occurred.

The possibility of not having a football season (college or professional) has me pinching myself to make sure that I’m not living in a dream. In an uncertain time in the sports world, it’s perfectly normal to let the mind wander when thinking about hypotheticals that otherwise would never happen.

Sports is what brings us all together, and one thing that every sports fan has in common is that the player, team, or coach that they cheer for represents something unique to them. The majority of fans resonate with a team regionally, and mainly reside locally. That being said, I will dive into each region that is craving a major sports team.

While Las Vegas has been a top prospect for new teams to expand to, the Oakland area is on the exact opposite end of the spectrum.

The Raiders found a new home in Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors share the fandom from Oakland to San Francisco, which then turns into an entirely new discussion of who locals from the bay area decide to support.

The only team that currently calls Oakland home would be the Athletics who do indeed have a very long and interesting history. The A’s have been producing decent wins and have produced consistent wildcard berths in the last few years, but the crowd has been lacking for some time. The fans tend to filter back into the seats when the postseason begins, but the regular season has seen some declining ticket sales.

That narrative could be used to explain other sports interests combined with the Raiders leaving town. Raiders fans were incredibly passionate and now there could be some sort of a void on who to root for. Sports fans in Oakland more than likely would cheer for the team even though they are in Las Vegas, but perhaps there should not be a team expansion to the Oakland area.

In the case of hockey, the California Golden Seals had a brief tenure that ended in the mid-seventies, and that about does it. A very unlikely scenario would be that a football team could take the place of the Raiders, but passionate sports appreciation does not get replaced that easily.

For more in this series, read why Las VegasBuffaloIndianapolisHouston, New Orleans and Baltimore are also in need of expansion teams.

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