Bring the A’s Back to Philadelphia

The Ath­let­ics are one of base­bal­l’s most nomadic fran­chis­es. After orig­i­nat­ing here in the late nine­teenth cen­tu­ry and then becom­ing a mod­ern club in 1901, the A’s have moved twice: first to Kansas City in 1954 and then on to Oak­land in 1968, as base­ball fans moved west in droves. Now the club is threat­en­ing to move away from Oak­land. They’re threat­en­ing to move to — wait for it — Sacra­men­to, of all places.

Now maybe the peo­ple of Sacra­men­to would like a pro­fes­sion­al base­ball team, but so did north­ern Vir­ginia and what did they get? The Expos. How’s that work­ing out? Have you been to a Nation­als game? The crowd they claimed was starv­ing for base­ball would appear to appre­ci­ate the diet. Even with pitch­ing phe­nom Stephen Stras­burg the Nats strug­gle to draw a crowd. I have my doubts that Sacra­men­to would be able to sup­port a major league base­ball team any bet­ter than Oak­land does. Lots of love for Tyreke Evans, but even the Kings don’t rule.

Here’s my solu­tion: let’s bring them back to Philadel­phia! I’d have to dou­ble check, but I’m pret­ty sure Philadel­phi­a’s the largest tele­vi­sion mar­ket that does­n’t have two teams. Is it an impos­si­ble pipe dream? Prob­a­bly, but I’m not ready to give up the slim hope that some wild­ly ego­tis­ti­cal entre­pre­neur could­n’t embrace the roman­tic notion of return­ing the A’s to their home­town, the birth­place of pro­fes­sion­al base­ball.

I’ll grant that there are many seem­ing­ly insur­mount­able prac­ti­cal con­cerns, first and fore­most being where they’d play. Could Philadel­phia even sup­port two teams? We’re base­ball rich right now, but what about when the Phillies inevitably slide? Will base­ball fans retreat into their homes? Would peo­ple sup­port both teams? How does Chica­go man­age?

If the A’s are plan­ning to move any­way, why not at least try to bring them back to Philadel­phia? Can’t the City of Broth­er­ly love make a pitch to win them back?

14 replies on “Bring the A’s Back to Philadelphia”

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Love it! This is an idea I’ve had for over a year now; I’m plan­ning on start­ing a web­site for this pur­pose with­in the next few months. There is ZERO rea­son we could­n’t be a 2 team City again. I’ll let you know when things get up and run­ning.

Cool, if you’re inter­est­ed we could col­lab­o­rate (with you in charge of course). I have some text worked out deal­ing with the obvi­ous issues (ter­ri­to­r­i­al rights, etc.). My email is; I’d be hap­py to for­ward you what I’ve got.

Cra­zier things have hap­pened!

Bring­ing the A’s back has been a lurk­ing fan­ta­sy of mine for a long time. I have an idea that might not sit well with many of you, but if you want the A’s back (to the area), this might fly. Place them in Cam­den right at the loca­tion of the present-day River­sharks park (there’s a LOT of room there to use to expand the cur­rent park). Think of the attrac­tion. Trans­porta­tion would be ide­al: a light rail that comes down from Burling­ton Coun­ty and a pro­posed one from Glouces­ter Coun­ty, the PATCO hi-speed line to bring tons of folks from Philly and oth­er parts of South Jer­sey (there’s a con­nec­tion at 8th and Mar­ket, and Broad and Locust), a loca­tion along I‑676 for motorists, and the near­by dock for the fer­ry from Penns Land­ing. And even though Cam­den is admit­ted­ly a very depressed city, the exact loca­tion is at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge and along the water­front across from the Philly sky­line, so aes­thet­i­cal­ly it’s super. Now I DON’T WANT THE STATE LINE TO BE A DIVIDER. I would want every­one in the Philade­phia area to feel “own­er­ship”. Just as the Phillies also belong to us in South Jer­sey, the A’s in Cam­den would belong to every­one in Philly and in the sur­round­ing PA sub­urbs. (BTW, I was born and raised in Philly.) So, the name is impor­tant for every­one in the area to feel this is OUR AL team, just as the Phillies are OUR NL team. I pre­fer the Cam­den-Philadel­phia Ath­let­ics. At first, I’d like to see the A’s split time with the Phillies at Cit­i­zens Bank Park (assum­ing it’s fea­si­bly legal) – to head off the NJ gov’t balk­ing at the “twin-city” name. With inten­tions to move to Cam­den, the name Cam­den-Philadel­phia can become offi­cial. Play­ing in NJ and hav­ing the name “Cam­den” includ­ed is crit­i­cal in order to make this work because the NJ state gov­ern­ment would prob­a­bly insist on this if they are to be involved with fund­ing, at least regard­ing a ball park. And this address­es the crit­i­cal “via­bil­i­ty” aspect of bring­ing the A’s back since gov’t fund­ing is an obvi­ous neces­si­ty. Tren­ton has been search­ing for decades for a way to revi­tal­ize Cam­den. A MLB team and park in Cam­den would not be a “close at 5 pm aquar­i­um” sit­u­a­tion, but rather a big-time spark for nightlife, which would then trans­late into eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment for down­town Cam­den and a devel­op­ing tax base. Anoth­er poten­tial big plus about Cam­den being in anoth­er state is that it could weak­en the Phillies oppo­si­tion in the col­lec­tive mind of MLB, espe­cial­ly if the State of NJ is sup­port­ing the idea. So, in the end, NJ finds a way to devel­op Cam­den, the city of Philadel­phia may make more mon­ey dur­ing a sea­son or two leas­ing out Cit­i­zens Park when the Phillies aren’t in town, and the Ath­let­ics can come back home so that we’ll be a two base­ball metrop­o­lis again.

I’m not entire­ly opposed to this. I think there are some great region­al
oppor­tu­ni­ties here and I think that of all the unfor­tu­nate urban devel­op­ment
fads Cam­den has suf­fered, adding a MLB team instead of an unaf­fil­i­at­ed minor
league team might have poten­tial. I do see peo­ple strug­gling with the
com­mute, at least ini­tial­ly. PATCO does­n’t serve the sta­di­um seam­less­ly
enough to bring peo­ple to the ball­park with­out feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble, even if
any­one who takes PATCO to Wal­ter Rand or City Hall knows that you’re much
safer than you sus­pect in down­town Cam­den, even at night.

You seem to have some ideas about this, Cas­sidy. Would you be inter­est­ed in
shar­ing them on I could use a few guest blog­gers if you
have time.

In a town that sup­ports a chick­en wing con­test by fill­ing an are­na with 20,000 peo­ple, 40,000 fans show up in freez­ing weath­er for 2 exhi­bi­tion games, sell­outs in Clear­wa­ter, I find it hard to believe that the fan base could­n’t sup­port the A’s and Phillies. This is a BASEBALL TOWN. aver­age 25,000 peo­ple for 81 home dates, 2 mil­lion in atten­dence. Can they make mon­ey? I don’t know but I do know the best place to build the new Con­nie Mack Sta­di­um… Broad and Pat­ti­son!

I per­son­al­ly pre­fer the notion of build­ing a park that has even bet­ter
inte­gra­tion into tran­sit hubs: the site of the old Bak­er Bowl at Broad and
Lehigh. Not only is it min­utes from my house in Fish­town, it’s got a
region­al rail stop and the Broad St. Line run­ning beneath it. Could be a
pret­ty amaz­ing set­ting if they could build a ball­park for, say, 30–35K fans.

Would a deal have to be worked out with the Phillies? Sure, but that has­n’t
stopped MLB from putting teams in TV mar­kets before.

I feel bet­ter know­ing that I’m not crazy. I’ve thought about the A’s com­ing back since I heard in the late 1990’s that they want­ed out of Oak­land. The A’s would draw just fine in Philly, I like your idea except for the loca­tion of the park. I say, put it where the Vet was, Broad and Pat­ti­son! The city would love the tax income, Com­cast would love the pro­gram­ming ( I mean real­ly what’s a bet­ter rat­ings draw. The UNION soc­cer team or MLB?)

Can’t tell you how many peo­ple I’ve met who’ve told me that they total­ly
believe the A’s should move back. Feel like most of ’em have joined the
Bring Your A’s Game cause and are sol­id evan­ge­lists for it.

I just think hav­ing two ball­parks in S. Philly would result in leas­ing CBP
rather than new con­struc­tion. I believe Philadel­phia could sup­port two
base­ball teams, but the A’s would have an uphill climb. Let’s face it: they
haven’t set the world aflame atten­dance-wise even when they had arguably the
best staff in base­ball in the late ’00s. I got into this for the his­to­ry, so
the thought of a ball­park in a his­tor­i­cal loca­tion real­ly appeals to me, and
it does­n’t hurt that peo­ple could take mass tran­sit even more effi­cient­ly
than they do to the ball­park in S. Philly.

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