Oakland’s Sports Exodus: A Tragic Loss for a City with a Rich Sporting Legacy

The departure of the Athletics marks the end of an era for Oakland, as the city bids farewell to its last major professional sports team.

The exodus of professional sports teams from Oakland, California has left a void in the hearts of its residents. The Golden State Warriors’ move to San Francisco in 2019 was a bitter pill to swallow, followed by the NFL’s Raiders relocating to Las Vegas in 2020. Now, the city has suffered another blow as Major League Baseball’s Athletics have finalized their move to Sin City. This article explores the impact of this loss on Oakland and reflects on the rich sporting history that will be difficult to replicate elsewhere.

A Stadium-Financing Racket and the Battle for Public Assistance

The departure of Oakland’s teams can be attributed, in part, to the stadium-financing racket that has plagued cities for decades. The Warriors, Raiders, and Athletics all faced challenges with outdated venues that hindered their commercial opportunities. When local governments couldn’t meet the demands for public assistance to fund new stadiums, the teams made the decision to leave. While the Warriors privately financed their new home, the Raiders and Athletics relied on Nevada taxpayers to fund their relocation.

The Raiders: Oakland’s Beloved Football Team

The Raiders have deep roots in Oakland, where they became a cultural icon. Known for their passionate and costumed fans, the team developed a national reputation. Legendary coach John Madden and owner Al Davis played pivotal roles in shaping the team’s identity. Oakland was the backdrop for two of the Raiders’ three Super Bowl victories, cementing their place in the city’s sporting history.

The Athletics: Building a Legacy in Oakland

Although the Athletics originated in Philadelphia, they built something special in Oakland. The franchise won five World Series titles while in Philadelphia but struggled to maintain popularity against the bigger-spending Phillies. After relocating to Kansas City and then to Oakland, the A’s achieved success, winning four World Series championships. From the stolen base king Rickey Henderson to the era of Moneyball, the Athletics left an indelible mark on the city.

The Warriors: Oakland’s Basketball Dynasty

While the Warriors have remained in the Bay Area, their most successful years were spent in Oakland. Led by Stephen Curry and coached by Steve Kerr, the team achieved unprecedented success at Oracle Arena. The passionate fanbase and the team’s star players made Oakland the heart of the Warriors’ dynasty, culminating in multiple NBA championships.

The Prospects for Oakland’s Defectors in Las Vegas

The Raiders’ move to Las Vegas has been relatively smooth, with a new stadium and a loyal fanbase. The NFL’s structure ensures that the team will remain financially stable, even if on-field performance falters. The success of the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL provides hope for the Athletics, as the city has shown a willingness to support a winning team. However, the lack of salary cap in baseball and the Athletics’ historically low payroll pose challenges for the team’s competitiveness.


The loss of the Athletics marks the end of an era for Oakland’s professional sports scene. The departure of the city’s beloved teams not only highlights the stadium-financing racket but also represents a significant loss of history and identity. While Las Vegas offers new opportunities, the challenge for the Raiders and the Athletics will be to capture the same passion and loyalty that Oakland fans exhibited. As the city bids farewell to its teams, it is a poignant reminder of the impact that sports can have on a community and the void left behind when they depart.






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