Oakland Coliseum, Home of the Oakland Athletics

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Home of the Oakland Athletics

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The Oakland Coliseum, officially known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, is a multi-purpose stadium, located in Oakland, California. It is part of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex, which consists of the stadium and neighboring Oracle Arena. It is currently home to the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball and the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League.

Oakland Coliseum Overview

Since 1966 the city of Oakland has been able to enjoy baseball played by some of the greats in the game. In 1972, the Athletics won their first of three straight World Series championships.

Oakland Coliseum

Over the years the Oakland Coliseum has seen its ups and downs. The stadium was not well maintained for most of the late 1970s. Its condition was most noticeable during baseball season, when crowds for A's games twice numbered fewer than 1,000. During this time, it was popularly known as the "Oakland Mausoleum."

In July 1995, the Raiders agreed to return to Oakland provided that Oakland Coliseum underwent renovations. Football renovations included 22,000 new seats, a couple private clubs, two scoreboards, and close to 100 new luxury suites. In 1996 they enclosed the upper deck with an additional 10,000 seats.

While the renovations to the upper deck did benefit the Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis, the baseball fans didn't like the fact that they could no longer view Oakland hills. Today fans call that area of the stadium Mount Davis.

When you look at the stadium from the outside, it looks quite short. That is because the A’s built much of the stadium underground. This, combined with the hill built around the stadium to create the upper concourse, means that you can only see the third deck from outside the park.

The Coliseum has far and away the most foul territory of any major league ballpark, especially along the foul lines. Thus, many balls that would reach the seats in other ballparks are caught for outs at the Coliseum.

Even though the amenities come short compared to other ballparks around the league, the possibility of a new stadium is right around the corner.

Ballpark Quick Facts

  • Location: 7000 Coliseum Way Oakland, CA 94621
  • Owner: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority
  • Years: 1966-Present
  • Seating Capacity: 35,067
  • Surface: Bluegrass
  • Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; HTNB
  • Project Cost: $25.5 million/renovation $200 million USD
  • LF foul line: 330 feet
  • Power alleys: 367 feet
  • Center field: 400 feet
  • RF foul line: 330 feet

Ballpark History

Business and political leaders in Oakland had long been in competition with its more famous neighbour San Francisco. It was thought that a professional sports team would help Oakland develop its own identity and reputation, separate from that of San Francisco. As a result, the desire for a major-league stadium in the city of Oakland intensified during the 1950s and 1960s.

Oakland Coliseum Although Oakland did not have a professional team, in 1960, the city formed a non-profit corporation to oversee the financing and development of a facility. The city of Oakland and Alameda County approved financing to build a stadium, an indoor arena and an exhibition hall in between them. Construction began for the new stadium in early 1962.

By 1968 the Kansas City A's were unhappy with their city and moved to Oakland. Later on we would see the Kansas City Royals surface as an expansion team in 1969.

It didn't take long for the rest of the country to take notice of Oakland. Between 1972-1974 the Oakland A’s won three consecutive World Series titles. Players like Rollie Fingers, Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue and Reggie Jackson were becoming household names.

However, it would be 15 years before they would bring home another World Series Championship with the "Bash Brothers" of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, as well as speedster Ricky Henderson. It didn't matter though, because Oakland had established itself as a premiere franchise long before their last championship.

In 1982, only two years removed from winning Super Bowl XV, the Raiders moved to Los Angeles, leaving the A's as the only remaining tenant of Oakland Coliseum. Days later, Finley sold the A's to Marvin Davis, who planned to move the A's to Denver. However, city and county officials refused to let the A's out of their lease. Finley was forced to sell the team to the owners of San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co.

You can find the Oakland greats retired numbers on the outfield wall, including Dallas Braden's perfect game. It just so happens that his day came almost 42 years to the day that Catfish Hunter pitched his perfect game.

It's safe to say there is plenty of history surrounding the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum. Only time will tell if the future will bring more success their way. In the meantime, the A’s are looking to build a new stadium with two possible locations already in place.

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