I recently asked a buddy in Oakland when the A's were going to build a new ballpark. Here is his take on the situation:
"Unfortunately, for years the City handled the whole issue very badly. There was an opportunity to build a new park downtown – and then on the water – but both plans fizzled. The fiscal situations of both Oakland & the county are now terrible, so no public money will be available for who know how long. San Jose would like to build a park (they are building one for the 49ers) but the Giants have protested to Major League Baseball because they say that San Jose is in their geographic area. There is a lot of money in Silicon Valley, so San Jose may be able to swing it if they are allowed. Yet to be resolved.
The current park was never great, but made much worse for baseball when thousands of new seats were added for Al Davis (late of the Raiders). Add to that a low budget, and not even Billy Beane could produce teams that won for more than a couple of years.
Attendance has been very low for years, and the whole situation is very unfortunate. Ah, Oakland..."