The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Oakland A’s Fan Fest 2019

By TJ Porreca, SPORTS EDITOR

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Optimism for 2019 and the future was in the air as members of the 2019 Oakland Athletics stood on stage at the team’s annual Fan Fest event in Oakland.
A’s president Dave Kaval stoked fans’ hopes for a successful 2019 season and an eventual new stadium as he was surrounded by team players and coaching staff at Jack London Square.
“We’re just a stone’s throw away from our future home at Howard Terminal,” Kaval told the cheering crowd.
The A’s announced their plans for a gondola system prior to the event. This will be a crucial mode of transportation to the new stadium. The A’s called the system a “zero-emissions cruise” from Oakland to Howard Terminal.
“[It is] a key way to get to and from our new, privately financed ballpark on the water,” Kaval said about the gondola system.
The state of A’s radio broadcasts was also of interest to fans. The A’s ended their partnership with Bay Area radio station “95.7 The Game” after the 2018 season.
Currently, the team does not have a radio partnership in place but team officials noted that A’s games will be available on the radio this upcoming season and the team has plans for a free streaming option as well.
One of the most popular names at Fan Fest was player Kyler Murray who was absent with an uncertain future.
Murray was Oakland’s first-round draft pick in 2018. He was both an outfielder in baseball and a quarterback in football. He also won the Heisman trophy this past season – college football’s highest individual honor.
Murray has entered the NFL draft and seemingly intends to choose football over baseball. Regardless, the A’s president of baseball operations, Billy Beane, said he did not regret the decision to draft Murray.
“I wouldn’t take that pick back for a second,” Beane said.
Some of the A’s’ current players, including Khris Davis and Matt Chapman are fan favorites. During the Q&A session open to fans, Davis’ and Chapman’s status on the roster was a pertinent question.
The A’s have traded away established star players in the past – often fan favorites – and Beane was asked about the team’s current best players.
Beane assured fans that he hoped to retain the team’s cornerstone players, such as Davis and Chapman.
Of the two players, Davis’ contract status is more pressing, as he will be a free agent after 2019. Chapman is under team control for five more seasons and will hit free agency in 2024.
The A’s reported 30,000 fans came to the Fan Fest event to celebrate the upcoming season.

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Oakland A’s Fan Fest 2019