Television market size: 1.39 million
Similarly sized MLB market: Cleveland (1.48 million)
This town nearly lost the one pro team it has, was jacked for $258 million in arena money by the National Basketball Association and new ownership just to keep it and doesn't exactly seem emboldened by the experience.
That's a shame, considering there's a team about 80 miles away in need of a new home. This seems like the easy answer to the A's problems, especially with San Jose reluctant to build the team a stadium and a new 10-year lease at the Coliseum the best offer on the table in Oakland. At any rate, it's a much shorter haul than heading to the Portland suburbs to play in some short-season Single A team's digs until some town builds a ballpark that's not even in the planning stages right now.
But that's the problem: The only real shot for Sacramento to get a team is the A's. California's capital falls within the A's and Giants' radius, so any third team would need permission from those organizations before moving in. The A's and their fragile attendance aren't going to grant that request. Even if the A's go elsewhere, the Giants may not forfeit the opportunity to have the Bay Area all to themselves.
So let's say the A's move. At best, they get a Sacramento fan base big enough to make up for the disgruntled Bay Area fans they're leaving behind and they get a new building that Sacramento's really going to have to shake out the couch to fund. At worst, they just forced their fan base into a three- to four-hour round-trip haul to a stadium that Sacramento skimps on because its taxpayers can't really afford that kind of thing.
This is why Sacramento makes do with the A's Triple A franchise, the River Cats, and the highest attendance in all of minor league baseball. The love of baseball is there, but the hassle of landing the A's seems like a burden this town is unwilling to bear.