By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist
The news breaking this week that the A’s have reached an agreement to build a 30,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas made it official: all three professional sports teams that called Oakland home have left for greener pastures. All three played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex, a dual facility with an outdoor stadium with a capacity of more than 63,000 and an adjoining arena that seats 17,500.
It’s a very sad state for sports fans in this blue-collar city that exists in the shadow of its more glamorous and popular neighbor San Francisco. All these losses have occurred in a relatively short span of time.
First to leave were the Oakland Raiders, who had an on-and-off-again relationship with the city. The Raiders played at the Coliseum from 1966 to 1981, winning the Super Bowl following the 1976 and 1980 seasons. The team moved to Los Angeles in 1982, returned to Oakland in 1995 and left for Las Vegas in 2019.
The Golden State Warriors started playing in San Francisco at the Cow Palace and moved to Oakland in 1971. The Warriors won a championship in 1975. The team then returned to San Francisco to play at the newly built Chase Center, which opened in October 2019.
The A’s under the ownership of Charlie Finley were the darling of Oakland in the ’70s, winning three World Series. The A’s moved to Oakland in 1969 from Kansas City.
I blame the short-sightedness of Coliseum management and city officials throughout the years for the loss of Oakland’s teams. Oakland also had the misfortune of having team owners whose pockets were not as deep as those of their peers. That placed pressure on the city to come up with funds it didn’t have to build new playpens for owners.
Fans will miss these teams, but at least they can bask in the memories of the championships they won throughout the years.
Suspend Morant Half A Season
I have to comment on the news that broke early in the week on Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies all-star who has allowed another video to surface with him brandishing a gun. Most of you know Morant was suspended earlier this season for brandishing a gun in a video he posted on social media. The Grizzlies have suspended him from team activities and after the NBA completes its investigation, Commissioner Adam Silver will drop the hammer with a long suspension. He should be suspended for 40 games – roughly half the regular season. Hopefully after missing playing basketball and losing millions of dollars, he will get the message. If not, a third strike and his promising NBA career will be over.