Despite striking out with the Kings, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has not given up his big leagues hopes.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the mayor has been seeking the counsel of Kevin McClatchy, former co-owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Johnson’s goal: Woo the A’s away from the Bay Area.
Though Sacramento is not believed to be on the Oakland A’s radar, McClatchy believes it should be. Sacramento, according to McClatchy, is “a great baseball town” and a “viable option for major league baseball.”
McClatchy might be right.
In the words of SactownRoyalty.com’s Tom Ziller, “The Kings have had one season in the entire 26 years of their Sacramento existence in which the team was over .500 and ARCO wasn’t sold out every game, and that was the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.” (my emphasis)
Even the Sacramento Rivercats, the A’s triple A affiliate, has had stellar attendance levels. As of 2010, the Rivercats led the Pacific Coast League in attendance every since moving to Sacramento. Last year, however, team attendance slipped to just over 7,600 per game.
The A’s currently draw roughly 21,000 to home games–good for third to last in the major leagues. But, over the last four seasons, as Nick Houser of the Bleacher Report notes, “the A’s have averaged about 17,000 fans per game—just 6,000 more than their minor league affiliate.”
Still, despite Sacramento’s seeming advances, the A’s remained focused on San Jose.
“We have been very consistent about our stance about a new ballpark,” A’s spokesman Bob Rose said in an statement to the Bee. “Our focus is getting a venue built in downtown San Jose, and that will continue to be the case.”
The A’s bid to move San Jose has been continually thwarted by the San Francisco Giants, who own the rights to the market. Should the A’s tire of Bay Area politics, a move Sacramento is not that far-fetched.