A's temporary home stadium a 1st for health systems

MLB's Oakland Athletics will play their home games in a stadium named after a health system starting next year, the team said April 4.

Sutter Health Park, a minor league stadium in West Sacramento, Calif, will host the A's for the 2025-2027 seasons. The baseball club is building a $1.5 billion park in Las Vegas that is expected to be ready in 2028.

It will mark the first time a franchise from one of the four major professional sports leagues — MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL — will play its home games in a stadium named for a health system. Sutter Health, based in Sacramento, is the nation's 24th-largest health system with $16 billion in annual revenue and 22 hospitals.

"We are excited to hear this morning's news and look forward to seeing more sports fans at Sutter Health Park in the coming years," Keri Thomas, vice president of external affairs for Sutter Health, told Becker's on April 4. "As a leading healthcare provider deeply rooted in Northern California, we’re proud to continue to partner with our communities on sports and wellness initiatives as they support the health and vitality of the cities we call home."

Previously, the closest health system stadium connection was the home of the NFL's Buffalo Bills, Highmark Stadium, which Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York has the naming rights for. That payer's parent company, Highmark Health, owns Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.

Sutter Health Park, which got the name in 2020, hosts the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of MLB's San Francisco Giants. The park is small by MLB standards, with just 14,000 seats.

Sutter Health also recently agreed to sponsor a new professional women's soccer team in San Jose, Calif., for a reported $13 million, which would be the largest such deal in that league's history.

New York City-based NewYork-Presbyterian last year became the first — and, so far only — health system to adorn an MLB team's jersey when its logo started appearing on patches worn by the New York Mets.

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