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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 06: A general view of play between the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 06, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Athletics To Begin Exploring Relocation From Oakland

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball has instructed the Oakland Athletics to begin exploring other markets outside of the Bay Area, according to a release issued by the team on Tuesday.

The A’s, who have resided in Oakland, California since 1968, have been searching for a path to a new stadium for years as they look to move on from an aging Oakland Coliseum.

If the local government decides to shoot down the team’s latest proposal for the Howard Terminal site, the A’s could be on the move for the first time in over 50 years.

The Howard Terminal project–in which the A’s have proposed privately funding a $1 billion stadium and spending more on a development that would include affordable housing, retail and office space, and a hotel –is the latest effort and has been seen as the likeliest to succeed.

“We share MLB’s sense of urgency and their continued preference for Oakland. Today’s statement makes clear that the only viable path to keeping the A’s rooted in Oakland is a ballpark on the waterfront,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said following the team’s announcement.

Cities that have been mentioned as possible destinations for the franchise include Las Vegas–where the Las Vegas Raiders reside after departing Oakland in 2019–as well as Charlotte, Nashville, Montreal and Portland, among others.

“We’re offering to privately finance the project and we are asking for the city to develop these taxing permit zones, which are done all over the United States, to make these projects work,” A’s President Dave Kaval told ABC 7 News on Tuesday. “We’re hopeful that that creative solution can lead to a project that is successful on the waterfront.”

“We’ve spent, remember, four and a half years working with the City of Oakland on this project,” explained Kaval. “We’ve given everything we have to make it work.”

Oakland’s lease at Oakland Coliseum runs through 2024.

It is expected that if the Howard Terminal proposal is accepted by local government, the project will not be completed until 2027.