Ballpark Roadtrip: Oakland Coliseum
O.co Coliseum– also known as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and commonly The Oakland Coliseum or The Coliseum; and formerly known as Network Associates Coliseum, McAfee Coliseum, and Overstock.com Coliseum– is a multi-purpose stadium, located in Oakland California in the Coliseum Industrial area.
It is the only remaining multi-purpose stadium left to serve as a full-time home to both a Major League Baseball team (the Oakland Athletics) and a National Football League team (the Oakland Raiders).
In recent years, the Coliseum has been criticized as being one of the “worst stadiums in baseball”. Problems cited include the large amount of foul territory and the addition of Mount Davis. The former allows for more foul-outs while the latter has been criticized for “ruining” the ambience of the original configuration.
The playing field at the Coliseum is 22 feet below sea level and the pitcher’s mound is 10 inches above the playing field, making the pitcher stand slightly taller than the other teammates at 21 feet below sea level.
In 2006, the Athletics covered the entire third deck with a tarp, reducing capacity to 34,077—the smallest capacity in the majors. For the 2008 season, Sections 316–318 of the 3rd deck behind home plate were re-opened as the A’s introduced their own “All-You-Can-Eat” seating area, similar to the right field bleachers at Dodger Stadium.
This has increased the Coliseum’s capacity for baseball to 35,067. For the 2009 season, seats were $35 and only sold on a single game basis; All-You-Can-Eat seating was offered for every game in 2008, but for 2009 the section was only open for weekend games (Friday-Sunday) & all games against the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and San Francisco Giants. For 2010, the A’s discontinued All-You-Can-Eat, instead rebranding the area as the “Value Deck”.
Prices for these seats have decreased to $12 and are sold for every game ($15 price for premium games). To help compensate for the loss of AYCE, the A’s have introduced Jumbo-Tickets that have stored stadium credit for food & merchandise ($10 on Plaza Club tickets & $6 for Value Deck tickets).
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Ballpark: D – No tour and bad baseball environment. The upper level was closed off for baseball. Smallest seating capacity in baseball.
Fans & Atmosphere: C – It’s a football stadium where baseball is being played. Red Sox fans outnumbered A’s fans. The bay area belongs to the Giants. Some hard core fans.
Food: C – Two Coliseum Hot Dogs and soda for $14.25 dollars! No debit cards, just cash. No signature food.
Mascot: B – Stomper, cute elephant who is fan friendly.
Staff: D – Security guards, ticket window and ushers were unfriendly. Ladies in clubhouse shops were kind and helpful.
Team Tradition: D – They need a new ballpark badly and to honor history more from the days in Kansas City and Philadelphia…They have won 4 world championships in Oakland, but you cannot tell or feel pride.
Location: D – Oakland, across the bay from where the Giants play in their world-class ballpark – but without a championship to date. Took BART from airport, took forever. Plenty of parking available.
Photos taken July 19, 2010 using a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Digital SLR with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens.