Utah’s bid to house the Oakland A’s could strike out this week

Athletics officials are set to meet with Oakland city leaders this week, according to The Mercury News

(Jeff Chiu | AP) Oakland Athletics fans in right field yell behind signs protesting the team's potential move to Las Vegas and to call for management to sell the team during the fifth inning of a baseball game between the Athletics and the San Francisco Giants in Oakland, Calif., Aug. 5, 2023.

Salt Lake City’s main competition to be the temporary home of the Oakland Athletics might not be Sacramento after all.

Instead, Oakland could be the largest deterrent to MLB in Utah next summer.

Athletics officials are expected to meet with Oakland city leaders this week to talk about potentially staying in Oakland for the next three years, The Mercury News reported.

It would mean the MLB franchise would not need a temporary home before its Las Vegas stadium gets built for the 2028 season.

The A’s deal with the Oakland Coliseum ends after the 2024 season.

Last month, A’s officials visited Salt Lake to explore what a move to Utah would look like. Salt Lake officials discussed how it could host the A’s for the next three years before the Athletics move permanently to Vegas. The Larry H. Miller Company is building a new baseball stadium in South Jordan’s Daybreak neighborhood that could be a viable option for the A’s.

When A’s officials came to Salt Lake, they only toured the Daybreak location. The target date for that stadium’s completion is 2025, in time for MLB’s season.

Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City would continue to be the home to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees should the A’s opt to come to Utah.

There were other cities vying for the A’s attention. Sacramento was on the table. It has a stadium, Sutter Health Park, that currently hosts the Triple-A River Cats.

Oracle Park, where the San Francisco Giants play, was discussed. The A’s moving to Reno, to play in the Triple-A stadium at Greater Nevada Field, could work too.

But staying in Oakland has its benefits over any temporary home. The television contract the A’s have with NBC Sports California pays out around $67 million a year, The San Francisco Chronicle reported last month. That deal could be contingent on the A’s staying local, The Athletic wrote.

Sacramento and Salt Lake City would require the television deal to be reworked or bought out entirely, The Athletic reported.

And that process would have to come together quickly, as MLB wants an answer in the coming months about where the A’s plan to play in 2025. Salt Lake City is still in the running, but the equation just because more complicated.