The Oakland Athletics have the worst record in Major League Baseball, sitting at 3-14 less than a month into the 2023 season, but fans are organizing to let the team know they are still supporting them.
A fan group called “Rooted in Oakland” is spearheading a “reverse boycott” effort where fans plan to fill the Oakland Coliseum on June 13 when the Athletics host the Tampa Bay Rays, who are currently 14-3.
“We created this reverse boycott to put a halt to the narrative that the A’s must leave Oakland and move to Las Vegas because there are no fans left in Oakland,” the group said in a statement to the New York Times. “This is simply untrue, given the A’s have the lowest payroll in MLB, the organization raised ticket prices after a losing season, and the ownership group has abandoned the current fans while focusing all attention on Las Vegas.”
The group intentionally chose a Tuesday game to show their dedication even on a weeknight.
Oakland was last in MLB attendance in 2022. During a home game against the Baltimore Orioles a year ago, the announced attendance was 3,748 — the lowest at the Coliseum since 1980. The number marks the smallest attendance at an MLB matchup — excluding games impacted by COVID-19 restrictions — since August 2019 when 5,297 fans showed up to see the Miami Marlins.
Attendance in Oakland this season continues to be among the lowest in the league.
Fans have been disgruntled with owner John Fisher, citing the lack of upkeep at the stadium, which the A’s have played in since 1968, and also the lack of commitment to build the team. The franchise traded catcher and Gold Glove winner Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves this past offseason after letting go of pitcher Chris Bassitt and first baseman Matt Olson in 2022 after each had an All-Star season.
“We want Major League Baseball, we want the country to know, there’s a bunch of A’s fans who are ready to support the team,” Stu Clary, an Athletics season ticket holder and one of the fans behind the “reverse boycott,” told the San Francisco Chronicle. “And we’ve proven that over the years – when they’ve given us something to support.”
The Athletics made it to the American League Division Series of the 2020 playoffs, but have not made the postseason since.
The stadium was filled with 54,005 fans in 2019 on a Wednesday night when the Athletics hosted the Tampa Bay Rays for a wild-card game. The visitor won 5-1.
The A’s lease with the Coliseum is up after the 2024 season.