The Oakland A’s are moving but it’s not the move out of Oakland that has been discussed for years.
The possible transfer of the team from the Oakland Coliseum into a new stadium in the south bay area has been much discussed in recent years but Tuesday, the A’s announced a change in their spring training headquarters.
They will stay in Phoenix next spring, then get ready for the 2015 season by training in Mesa, Ariz. According to the team, A’s management has signed a 20 year lease with Mesa. The A’s have spent the spring in Phoenix every year since 1982.
This will actually be a return to Mesa for the A’s. They trained there from 1969 to 1978, and won three World Series during that time.
A’s owner Lew Wolff was quoted in a team press release saying, ”We are extremely excited about our future spring home and want to thank the City of Mesa for all their hard work and cooperation in making this agreement possible.”
No reason was given for the move, but when Major League teams have changed spring training homes in the past, it was usually about the facilities. The A’s press release says the facilities in Mesa will get $20 million in renovations before the A’s make the move in 2015.
According to Wolff, “With the improvements planned over the next two years, we believe Hohokam Stadium and surrounding facilities will rival any in Major League Baseball.”