Oakland A's fans protest Las Vegas move with Opening Day tailgate party outside stadium

Owner John Fisher is hoping to move the team to Las Vegas in time for the 2028 season

The announced crowd for the Oakland A's home opener at Oakland Coliseum was 13,522 on Thursday. Those who would have been in many of those empty seats to witness the team's 8-0 loss to the Cleveland Guardians were instead outside the stadium protesting.

In what might be the last Opening Day in Oakland, fans bought tickets but boycotted going inside for the game as A's owner John Fisher moves forward with his plan to move the franchise to Las Vegas in time for the 2028 season.

According to the Associated Press, the mood outside the stadium was upbeat despite the murky future of the baseball team playing inside.

A half-hour before the game's first pitch, hundreds of fans gathered in the far corner of the parking lot. They displayed “Sell” T-shirts and flags, threw beanbags at caricatures of team executives — including owner John Fisher and president Dave Kaval — and danced to live music while munching on dinner from food trucks. ...

The A’s opened gates to parking lots just two hours before the game to align with what they said was the expected attendance, but fan groups that organized the boycott, including the Oakland 68’s and The Last Dive Bar, said it was an attempt to limit the protest.

The A's announced in May an agreement to build a 33,000-seat stadium on the Las Vegas strip after acquiring $380 million in state government financing, as well as unanimous approval from MLB owners to move the franchise. A rendering of the proposed stadium to be built in the parking lot of the Tropicana Resort and Casino was released in early March.

But the current question for Fisher is where the team will play in 2025. The A's current lease at Oakland Coliseum runs through the 2024 season. As of now, there is no plan in place for where the team will play home games between 2025 and 2027.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in February that the league needs to know the A's plans by this summer to construct a schedule for next season. It's possible the A's could negotiate to extend their lease with the city at Oakland Stadium, but if that fails, Salt Lake City and Sacramento are reportedly options.

Until there's a resolution, the A's will be playing out this season with their unknown future looming in the background. Judging by the Opening Day response, the fans will make sure their voices are heard until the final home game.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less from Oakland A’s fans,” said A's manager Mark Kotsay, who played four seasons in Oakland. “When they come out, they come out with support, with love, and they do it full force.”