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This isn't the first time the Oakland A's thought about coming to Sacramento

Sacramento tried to lure the A's to the city in the 1980s
Sacramento tried to lure the A's to the city in the 1980s 02:21

SACRAMENTO — With the Oakland A's announcement Thursday on their official move to West Sacramento for at least the next three seasons, let's take a look into the past because it's not the first time the baseball team thought about playing in the capital city.

Sacramento even went as far as starting to build the ballpark near the Kings' former home, Arco Arena, in Natomas. It's still there today, or what's left of it anyways. The only activity on the site now is a practice facility for the Stockton Kings  G League team.

The site was supposed to be a thriving Major League Baseball park and football stadium. The $16 million dream in the 1980s never came to fruition, and now it sits abandoned and overtaken by nature.

"Our job now is to make the A's sit here and go, 'Man, I wish we came here first,' " said Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council.

The ballclub almost did come here back in the '80s. Arco Park's construction was well underway.

"We built the entire foundation, which would be the dugout, the operations, the kitchens, all that kind of stuff, underneath for storage from foul pole around home plate to foul pole," Greg Van Dusen, former vice president of the Sacramento Kings, told us in 2015.

We spoke with Van Dusen then about the project as he played a key role in the grand ideas for building a ballpark and football stadium that would connect to Arco Arena by an underground tunnel.

"I'm going to be honest, I didn't even realize they spent $16 million on that. When you think of it back then, it's staggering," former Sacramento Kings announcer Grant Napear said at the time.

However, the money went dry and the project was abandoned.

"We just weren't going to get it done," Van Dusen said.

The parking lot meant for fan parking is now full of overgrown weeds.

Fans were eager to shell out money for season tickets, tickets they'd never see. The bones of the site remain, even a pond now in place of the diamond. Turkeys roam the hills where fans should've been cheering.

Now, in a full circle moment, the A's are moving into Sutter Health Park.

"Hopefully, it will lead to a permanent team here," Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said.

Could this be the start of something more permanent? 

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