Pro-Oakland types often say that ownership has in effect spit on them and driven them away. Some non-Oaklanders have concluded that the fandom really hasn't been there in the first place. Honestly, I think it has more to do with numbers: Oakland's population is only 1/6th of the East Bay, even less of the Bay Area's 7 million. One thing I've pondered is how many former Oakland residents attend ballgames.
As the Oakland Hills has taken in transplants from San Francisco and the rest of the country, certainly many longtime Oakland residents were displaced. Some have left the flats for opportunities elsewhere, especially with the erosion of the manufacturing sector. It's likely a combination of the above factors, which is rather inconvenient for partisans looking for an easy scapegoat.
What Marine Layer and others miss is that sports in Oakland is an "base sector" industry that has been ignored for a long time. A "base sector" industry...
is made up of local businesses (firms) that are entirely dependent upon external factors. For example, Boeing builds and sells large airplanes to companies and countries located throughout the world. Their business is dependent almost entirely upon non-local firms. Boeing does not sell planes to families or households locally, so their business is very much dependent upon exporting their goods. Manufacturing and local resource-oriented firms (like logging or mining) are usually considered to be basic sector firms because their fortunes depend largely upon non-local factors, they usually export their goods.
The Oakland A's depend on the surrounding region for its fan base and Major League Baseball for the design of economic factors that govern its operation. The City of Oakland needs to start looking at sports in this intelligent way, rather than the emotional and pseudo-intellectual ignorance given to the industry over the years. When people from other parts of the Bay Area and the World come to Oakland, the city should have places in Oakland for them to go -- let alone easily get to -- within Oakland.
I guess that's too logical.