Major League Baseball and the Oakland A’s in May released this statement in part:

“MLB is concerned with the rate of progress on the A’s new ballpark effort with local officials and other stakeholders in Oakland. The A’s have worked very hard to advance a new ballpark in downtown Oakland for the last four years, investing significant resources while facing multiple roadblocks. We know they remain deeply committed to succeeding in Oakland, and with two other sports franchises recently leaving the community, their commitment to Oakland is now more important than ever.”

Now the A’s have MLB’s blessing to look at relocation possibilities, focusing on Las Vegas.

Franchise shifting is a modern-day sports soap opera that exposes billion-dollar business decisions and behind-closed-doors deal-making by elected officials, league commissioners, business executives and team owners.

These constituencies are participating in the most significant referendum on disposable income for sports in Bay Area history.

Oakland has lost its way with regard to the heart and soul of its home teams and millions of their loyal fans. They have been spectators as other cities have built new stadiums, including:

• Pac Bell (now Oracle) Park in San Francisco, opened in 2000; cost: $375 million

• Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, opened in 2014; cost; $1.5 billion

• Golden One Center in Sacramento, opened in 2016; cost: $650 million

• Chase Center in San Francisco, opened in 2019; cost: $1.5 billion

• Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, opened in 2020; cost: $2 billion

• SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, opened in 2020; cost: $5.5 billion

While we are waiting for this ongoing ballpark saga to show some signs of reality, I gave this Frank Sinatra baseball standard some new lyrics to while away the time.

‘There Used to Be a Ballpark’

And there used to be an Oakland Coliseum, where the field was warm and green

And the teams played big games with a joy we’d never seen

And the air was always fragrant from the bratwurst and the beer

Yes, there used to be a year-round multi-sports home with three teams right here

And there used to be World Champs, Hall of Famers and sellout crowds

With fireworks exploding across the Oakland hills framed in clouds

And the fans watched in wonder, how they’d laugh, how they’d cheer

Yes, there used to be a Coliseum with a Black Hole right here

Now the offspring of Raider Nation and Athletics try to

find it

Because their parents’ teams were constantly threatening to split

Their magic moments will end up playing out on another city’s street

With millions of hometown fans left with a humongous Coliseum Swap Meet

Oaktown sports fans used to get so rowdy

The welcome to opposing teams was never “Howdy!”

The summer, fall and winter were their times to cheer

Now many who wear their colors will soon be shedding a tear.

Yes, there used to be an Oakland Alameda County Coliseum right here.

Andy Dolich owns Dolich & Associates, a Los Altos-based sports consultancy.