The Athletics will leave Oakland after the 2024 season and play at least three years in a minor league ballpark in West Sacramento, the team and Oakland officials announced early Thursday morning.

The move ends the Athletics’ 56-year tenure in the East Bay, a stretch that included four World Series championships, although the current team appears to be headed for its third consecutive 100-loss season.

The agreement with Sacramento is a three-year lease with a team option for a fourth season in case the team’s planned ballpark on the Las Vegas Strip is not completed in time for the 2028 season. The A’s will share Sutter Health Park, which holds roughly 14,000 fans, with the Sacramento River Cats, the San Francisco Giants‘ Triple-A team. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

Team president Dave Kaval called Oakland chief of staff Leigh Hanson at 7:36 a.m. to inform her of the team’s decision. Owner John Fisher followed five minutes later with a call to Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, and the team announced its move on social media 10 minutes after that.

Within two hours of the announcement, the team held an outdoor news conference in the rain and wind at Sutter Health Park. Fisher spoke for one minute, 45 seconds and left the ballpark quickly afterward, taking no questions.

“I just want to say we’re excited to be here for the next three years,” Fisher said as part of his prepared remarks, “playing in this beautiful ballpark but also to be able to watch some of the greatest players in baseball, whether they be Athletics players or Aaron Judge and others launch home runs out of this very intimate, most intimate ballpark in major league baseball next three years.”

As part of the temporary arrangement with Sacramento, the team will not include a city name in its branding. They will be known simply as “The A’s.” Kaval said he conducted an all-staff Zoom meeting after the announcement, in which he informed team employees that there will be significant layoffs as a result of this decision. He chose not to say what percentage of the workforce would be reduced, saying it has yet to be decided, but said employees will be let go at the conclusion of the season.

The deal in Sacramento was overseen by Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who also owns the River Cats and is a close friend of Fisher’s. He spoke first at the news conference, calling the announcement “the next chapter of professional sports in Sacramento.” Ranadive purchased the Kings in 2013 when it appeared the team would be sold and moved to Seattle. According to Kaval, the A’s deal in Sacramento includes a partnership with the Kings and River Cats and some employees of those teams will take on responsibilities currently handled by Oakland-based staff.

“The partnership will help us with making sure the games go off successfully,” Kaval said. “They have a lot of track record on that.”

The A’s and the city of Oakland had their final negotiating meeting Tuesday at the team’s offices, where Oakland’s representatives presented a five-year lease offer with a team opt-out after three. In that offer, the team would have been responsible for a $97 million “extension fee” that would have been due in full even if the team chose to opt out. The A’s currently pay $1.25 million per season to rent the Coliseum, and the increased cost to play at the Coliseum was the main sticking point in the negotiations, sources say.

In the hours after that meeting, Oakland officials reached out to the A’s with a revised offer: a previously unreported three-year lease and a $60 million extension fee. That offer was contingent on Major League Baseball agreeing to a one-year exclusive right to solicit ownership for a future expansion team in Oakland. Sources indicate the A’s were receptive to the new offer, but the team met with Sacramento officials less than 24 hours later and quickly agreed to a deal.

“Oakland offered a deal that was fair to the A’s and was fiscally responsible for our city,” Mayor Thao said in a statement. “We wish the A’s the best and will continue our conversations with them on facilitating the sale of their share of the Coliseum site. The City of Oakland will now focus on advancing redevelopment efforts at the Coliseum.”

Speaking after the news conference, Kaval told ESPN, “At the end of the day, we were just very far apart with Oakland. We worked very hard with them, and we were sincere in our efforts, as were they and the county, but we remained significantly far apart on a deal, even at the last moment. It was the economics, and then things that were asked of us that were out of our control. The major league-related asks were something that were out of our control.”

Fisher owns half of the Oakland Coliseum property and has not attended a game since Kaval called Thao on April 19 of last year to inform her of an agreement to move the team to Las Vegas. The sale of the team’s portion of the Coliseum site was also a requirement of Oakland’s offer, but now the team could conceivably hold on to the property and block any future development on the site. Hanson indicated the A’s remain motivated to sell the site despite the decision to move to Sacramento, but Kaval — while acknowledging that the team remains in talks to sell the property to the local African American Sports & Entertainment Group — refused to answer when asked whether the team would vow not to stand in the way of future plans.

“Like I said, we’re still in open discussions with those groups,” Kaval said. “We’re evaluating our options, and we want to work with the interested parties to see if something could happen.”

The A’s will require approval from the Major League Baseball Players Association to play in a minor league park. Kaval says that MLB is working on that approval and that the A’s will be announcing changes to the ballpark for “both players and fans.” An MLBPA spokesperson told ESPN’s Jeff Passan, “The MLBPA has had preliminary discussions with MLB about a range of issues related to the temporary relocation, and we expect those discussions to continue.”

The A’s are off to a 1-6 start to the season and have drawn an average of 6,438 fans at the Coliseum through those seven games, a number that figures to drop even lower with the team cutting all ties to the East Bay. The team has a payroll of roughly $60 million, by far the lowest of the 30 big league teams and $25 million below the next-lowest team, the Pirates. Fans dubbed this the “Summer of Boycott,” which began on Opening Day, when thousands of fans protested Fisher’s ownership by going to the game that night but remaining in the parking lot throughout.

“We know it’s a sad day [in Oakland],” Kaval said. “But there are many good memories in that building. We’re hopeful we can make some more memories this season and have a proper send-off.”

The Oakland 68s, along with Last Dive Bar, are the two fan groups that have organized boycotts and consulted with the city on its sports future. In response to the Sacramento announcement, Jorge Leon, the president of the 68s, said, “Just really disappointed. Seems like everyone is against Oakland, even regionally. You’d think a guy like Vivek and Sacramento would’ve understood what we’re fighting for, but yet they’re facilitating the move. It just goes to show you that the structure of American sports fails communities. It won’t change until actual change has been made at the legislative level, but even then, those in the capital have also failed us.”

MLB owners unanimously approved the A’s relocation to Las Vegas after Fisher entered into an agreement to build a ballpark in the parking lot of the Tropicana casino and resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The team received $380 million in public funding from the Nevada State Legislature to build an estimated $1.5 billion stadium that — if all goes according to plan — will open for the 2028 season.

“Throughout this season, we will honor and celebrate our time in Oakland,” Fisher’s initial statement read, “and will share additional details soon.”