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Harper against relocating Athletics: 'I don't see them as Vegas'

Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Bryce Harper doesn't support moving the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas.

The Philadelphia Phillies superstar and Las Vegas native believes the Athletics' potential relocation would be a major loss for baseball.

"I feel sorry for the fans in Oakland," Harper said, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. "It's just not right. They have so much history in Oakland. You're taking a team out of a city. I'm pretty sad because of all of the history and all of the greatness they've seen there. I see the A's as Oakland. I don't see them as Vegas."

The Nevada Legislature approved public funding Wednesday for a portion of the Athletics' proposed $1.5-billion ballpark. The deal still needs the governor's signature and Major League Baseball must green-light the move. The Athletics plan to build a 30,000-seat stadium along the Las Vegas Strip.

Harper isn't sold on the idea.

"Those fans (in Oakland) are so passionate, they bleed green," Harper said. "I'm not sure what they're going to be, or how they're going to be in Vegas, but it won't be the same. Pretty small market."

Harper added that club should change its name if relocation goes through.

"I don't think they should use the A's name," the 30-year-old said, according to Matt Gelb of The Athletic. "I really don't. I don't think it's fair to anybody in Oakland for that to happen."

Tens of thousands of Athletics fans protested the franchise's relocation Tuesday with a reverse boycott at Oakland Coliseum, urging owner John Fisher to sell the team instead.

"I do not like this outcome," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said of the relocation, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic. "I understand why they feel the way they do. I think the real question is, what is it Oakland was prepared to do? There is no Oakland offer. OK? They never got to a point where they had a plan to build a stadium at any site.

"And it's not just John Fisher. ... The community has to provide support. At some point, you come to the realization it's just not going to happen."

There was a proposal for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal in Oakland, but plans never materialized.

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