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Oakland A’s fans protest move to Sacramento at River Cats game

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Oakland Athletics fans flocked to Sutter Health Park for a Sacramento River Cats game on Saturday to make their voices heard about the team’s move to Las Vegas.

Hundreds of fans could be seen draped in green T-shirts and flags that said only one word: “SELL” and chanting “Sell the team” as the fifth inning came around. 

The River Cats are the AAA minor league team of the San Francisco Giants. But of the 25 years they’ve been in Sacramento, 14 of them were spent as the Oakland Athletics affiliate. 

That connection now runs deeper as the A’s will be spending at least the next three years sharing Sutter Health Park before they head to Las Vegas. A’s owner John Fisher made the announcement last month.

“We’re excited to be here for the next three years … playing in this beautiful ballpark,” Fisher said during a press conference on April 4.

The protests in West Sacramento are a response to Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé, who also owns the River Cats, helping the A’s move out of Oakland.

“You’re going to just sit there and just come in and swoop the rug right underneath us,” Bryan Johansen, co-founder of the apparel website Last Dive Bar, which organized the protest, said. “So this is us basically introducing ourselves to Vivek a little bit and let him know the next three years we’re gonna make your life hell up here.”

Johansen connected the plight of the A’s fans with Kings fans who fought for their team as they faced their own relocation attempts, before Ranadivé bought the team from the Maloof family in 2013.

“If you’re a fan of the Kings you should probably sympathize with what’s going on with us,” he said. “Everybody says, ‘Hey, they moved to Sacramento, you can just drive up a couple hours, right?’ Okay, cool. Would you have done that with your Kings if you had an owner like the Maloofs for 30 years?”

Whether it’s Oakland or Sacramento, the future in Las Vegas for the A’s still remains murky as no financing deal has been announced and the stadium planned to open in 2028 has yet to break ground.

Until a new stadium is open and the A’s are officially planted in Las Vegas, fans like Johansen say they will still be there chanting for Fisher to sell the team.

“We’re gonna come up here and we’re gonna fight and we’re gonna continue to voice how we feel about this.”

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