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Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Beauty of America’s Ugliest Ballpark:  What does baseball lose if the Oakland A’s leave the Coliseum?

OAKLAND, Calif. — When the Oakland Coliseum opened in 1966, it was hailed as a Brutalist gem that could house two sports in an elegantly simple, circular design.

A half-century later, it is perhaps America’s most hated sports stadium. Players and coaches deride it. The Oakland Raiders are fleeing it. The lights are breaking, mice are dying in the soda machines, and the sewage that sometimes floods the dugouts has its own Twitter account…

But does baseball need another retro-modern downtown ballpark? What does the sport and Oakland lose by demolishing the Coliseum? ...

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 02, 2019 at 07:18 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: oakland coliseum

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   1. Traderdave Posted: October 02, 2019 at 09:07 AM (#5885368)
A's fans do make excellent atmosphere, but I can't believe the writer left out TAILGATING. The coliseum parking lot is awesome. Grilling out under blue sky & perfect weather, throwing a ball or frisbee, bartering food with the next group over to widen each's menu, chatting amiably with fans of the other side, etc etc It will be a sad loss when it goes.
   2. Brian C Posted: October 02, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5885370)
Yeah but millennials something something.
   3. Traderdave Posted: October 02, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5885373)
For reasons of price, traffic, & existing infrastructure, the Coliseum site is the best location, but so far the A's haven't listened to my wisdom. They'll come around to my way of thinking, though.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2019 at 09:23 AM (#5885375)
What does baseball lose if the Oakland A’s leave the Coliseum?


Standing fecal water?
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 02, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5885379)
baseball need another


I don't think "baseball" should have anything to say about it. Just because Oakland's the last to make the change doesn't mean the park becomes a museum for the rest of the league.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5885390)
The Suncoast Dome isn't ready to concede the headline.

   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5885393)
I went to a lot of games at the Coliseum in 3 different months I spent in Berkeley in 1969-71-75, before the upper deck was closed, and since the first two levels were all reserved I naturally gravitated above, where you could sit behind the plate for about two and a half bucks. Can't say it was the world's greatest experience, but since the A's were loaded with star power, it was always a great way to spend an afternoon, especially with all the Sunday doubleheaders. Candlestick, not so much.

   8. Traderdave Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5885398)
In more than a few respects, Oakland is what San Francisco used to be: quirky, artsy, diverse, marching to its own drummer. What makes the Coliseum so fun is the Oakland vibe. This line from TFA sums it up best:

If Marlins Park is the flashy new nightclub, and Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are the historic pubs, the Coliseum is baseball’s last dive bar.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5885400)
Standing fecal water?
I saw them open for Phish back in '07. Not great.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5885402)
A ballgame at The Coliseum remains a great way to spend an afternoon. They could just tear down Mt. Davis, and it would be even nicer. Although the games are sparsely attended, the fans that show up are very passionate. Combined with the terrific weather, and I think it's great.

I grew up with "ugly" parks like this, and they really don't bother me in the slightest.

It's in a shitty nothing neighborhood, which is convenient in some ways as Traderdave says. I do think a downtownish ballpark would be really exciting, though.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5885409)
This line from TFA sums it up best:

If Marlins Park is the flashy new nightclub, and Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are the historic pubs, the Coliseum is baseball’s last dive bar.
That would make:
Yankee Stadium a historic fancy restaurant recreated in the an airport terminal.
Suncoast Dome in Tampa a strip mall Applebee's bar in an economically-depressed small city.
   12. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: October 02, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5885418)
Great American Ballpark is a subpar iteration of a trend that came to Cincinnati late. Cincinnatians, of course, think that it's great. In actuality, it's really a C- variation. The best parallel would be a mediocre craft brewery, such as Cincy's own Rhinegeist. It's adored by locals, but it's not anything special.
   13. Baldrick Posted: October 02, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5885422)
I lived in the Bay Area for eight years and am a huge baseball fan. I think I probably went to three, maybe four, games at the Coliseum. Maybe a tenth as many as I did over in SF. It's just incredibly hard to justify going to one of the worst stadiums when arguably the best one is a few miles away. And literally impossible to convince casual fans to go with you.
   14. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 02, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5885426)
I attended my first game at the GAB this summer and I enjoyed it very much. I thought it had one of the nicer courtyard/plaza areas that I've seen and the view from the upper deck behind home plate was very nice. I also ate some kind of southern fried chicken meal about a block away from the stadium that was very tasty. I tried the skyline chili spaghetti and that was, ehm, well interesting anyway.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5885428)
I lived in the Bay Area for eight years and am a huge baseball fan. I think I probably went to three, maybe four, games at the Coliseum. Maybe a tenth as many as I did over in SF. It's just incredibly hard to justify going to one of the worst stadiums when arguably the best one is a few miles away. And literally impossible to convince casual fans to go with you.

Strange, I find them equally appealing. The Giants' park is nicer and has better views of the game. But it's also colder and busier. Sometimes I like a sparse crowd, space to stretch out, quiet to think.
   16. Traderdave Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5885436)
Great American Ballpark is a subpar iteration of a trend that came to Cincinnati late. Cincinnatians, of course, think that it's great. In actuality, it's really a C- variation. The best parallel would be a mediocre craft brewery, such as Cincy's own Rhinegeist. It's adored by locals, but it's not anything special


Agree on GAB being utterly forgettable, but Rheingeist is far, far above mediocrity.
   17. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5885447)
Camden Yards renovated an old warehouse downtown, and now serves "Modern American Cuisine in the historic Inner Harbor". Its menu doesn't have dollar signs next to the prices and if something costs 12.50 they'll leave off the terminal zero. But rather than coming off as obnoxious and pretentious, it really works. The food used to be great, but in recent years it seems like the chef isn't really trying.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5885449)
Camden Yards renovated an old warehouse downtown, and now serves "Modern American Cuisine in the historic Inner Harbor". Its menu doesn't have dollar signs next to the prices and if something costs 12.50 they'll leave off the terminal zero. But rather than coming off as obnoxious and pretentious, it really works. The food used to be great, but in recent years it seems like the chef isn't really trying.
Their menu comes attached to a clipboard.
   19. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5885450)
Agree on GAB being utterly forgettable, but Rheingeist is far, far above mediocrity.


Both are fine. I have 3 craft breweries within 10 minutes of my house though, so, I rarely go all the way downtown just to go to a brewery.
   20. Lassus Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5885452)
Strange, I find them equally appealing. The Giants' park is nicer and has better views of the game. But it's also colder and busier. Sometimes I like a sparse crowd, space to stretch out, quiet to think.

I loved Oakland A's stadium in the way I loved Shea. A real level of warmth that is somewhat indefinable, but more still far more present than in the other stadium in the area.

(Granted, I went to Oakland a lot more when Candlestick was alive, but I can see the attraction now as well.)
   21. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5885453)
I went to a lot of games at the Coliseum in 3 different months I spent in Berkeley in 1969-71-75, before the upper deck was closed, and since the first two levels were all reserved I naturally gravitated above, where you could sit behind the plate for about two and a half bucks. Can't say it was the world's greatest experience, but since the A's were loaded with star power, it was always a great way to spend an afternoon, especially with all the Sunday doubleheaders. Candlestick, not so much.


As recently as 2003 (maybe even more recently than that), you could sit in the upper deck for $2 every Wednesday, with $1 hot dogs. Wednesdays were, of course, often getaway day games, but I enjoyed many a game there when I was in graduate school and you couldn't beat those prices. Of course, they could never really make money off the upper deck at those prices, which helps explain why it's now permanently closed.

I won't miss it. I think Baldrick's comment is the most pertinent -- there is just nothing in the ballpark to appeal to casual fans compared to SF, and that means it withers on the vine attendance wise. It'll be fun to see it packed tonight though -- as always, maybe for the last time.
   22. Padraic Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5885454)
GAB and Philly's CBP are definitely petty arriviste places that are not nearly as nice as the locals think they are. The Vet had all the (literal) shittness of the Coliseum, and was a blast to go to.

I don't care what a park looks like - a $900 season ticket that includes 1/2 price beer makes any stadium the best.
   23. Belfry Bob Posted: October 02, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5885464)
Camden Yards renovated an old warehouse downtown, and now serves "Modern American Cuisine in the historic Inner Harbor". Its menu doesn't have dollar signs next to the prices and if something costs 12.50 they'll leave off the terminal zero. But rather than coming off as obnoxious and pretentious, it really works. The food used to be great, but in recent years it seems like the chef isn't really trying.


With Faidley's right up the street at Lexington Market, or a Boog's sandwich beckoning, why are you eating in the warehouse?
   24. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 02, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5885550)
I've only seen MLB games in six ballparks, and Oakland-Alameda Coliseum is one of them. And considering that three of the others are Sicks' Stadium, the Kingdome, and Candlestick Park, it could very well rank as being in the upper half of MLB parks I've been to.
   25. DCA Posted: October 02, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5885561)
As recently as 2003 (maybe even more recently than that), you could sit in the upper deck for $2 every Wednesday, with $1 hot dogs. Wednesdays were, of course, often getaway day games, but I enjoyed many a game there when I was in graduate school and you couldn't beat those prices. Of course, they could never really make money off the upper deck at those prices, which helps explain why it's now permanently closed.

I used to go on Wednesdays when it was still $1 tickets. The upper deck at the Coliseum is really far from the action, but it was a great time to hang out with friends with a game going on somewhere down below. One favorite story is two guys sitting nearby got in a fight and were ejected from the stadium by security. The next inning they were back. "Bought another ticket."
   26. DL from MN Posted: October 02, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5885580)
I've only seen MLB games in six ballparks, and Oakland-Alameda Coliseum is one of them. And considering that three of the others are Sicks' Stadium, the Kingdome, and Candlestick Park, it could very well rank as being in the upper half of MLB parks I've been to.


Similar experience here. I've seen games at the Coliseum, both LA stadiums, Target Field, Turner, Metrodome, Kingdome and Suncoast Dome. I liked them in order - Target, Dodger, Oakland, Angels, Turner, Metrodome, Kingdome, Suncoast. I got to see Rickey at the Coliseum so maybe that's the reason for the fond memory.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 02, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5885582)
I saw a game at the Kingdome in its later years. Man, that was a depressing place.
   28. Lassus Posted: October 02, 2019 at 07:40 PM (#5885628)
The Kingdome was awful.
   29. Lassus Posted: October 02, 2019 at 07:52 PM (#5885632)
I don't really understand the alleged ugliness of A's Stadium. It's better than a ton of shitty latter-day McStadiums.
   30. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: October 02, 2019 at 08:40 PM (#5885657)
I attended this game in my first-ever trip to the west coast, and found the Coliseum to be perfectly cromulent. (Love that attendance figure!)
   31. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 02, 2019 at 09:14 PM (#5885685)
I lived in the Bay Area for eight years and am a huge baseball fan. I think I probably went to three, maybe four, games at the Coliseum. Maybe a tenth as many as I did over in SF. It's just incredibly hard to justify going to one of the worst stadiums when arguably the best one is a few miles away. And literally impossible to convince casual fans to go with you.

The only casual fan I've ever been to a ballgame with is my wife. If someone is interested more in the bells and whistles than the quality of the game on the field, I'm not particularly interested in spending time with them at a ballpark. All that matters to me are (1) Can you get a good cheap seat? (2) Is the parking free or cheap, or public transportation convenient? and (3) Is at least one of the teams one of the better teams in the league?

Oh, and (4) If they have a habit of playing "Sweet Caroline" or "Centerfield", did I remember to bring my earplugs?
   32. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: October 03, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5885834)
Every section was opened up last night, and even Mt Davis looked pretty full. Absolutely electric atmosphere, as always on the rare occasions when the place is packed. On the other hand, having that many people really stretched the Coliseum staff and made for a ########### on the bridge to BART after. (Those two kinda even out -- buying a beer inside during the game was extremely difficult, but they're readily available outside)
   33. Traderdave Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5885882)
Took me almost an hour to walk from section 226 to BART after the game.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5885885)
Truly sorry that the A's lost. They have great fans that deserve some wins.
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 03, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5885889)
Where do all these great A's fans go for the first 162 games?
   36. PreservedFish Posted: October 03, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5885905)
Some great fans. Emphasis on "some."
   37. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5885911)
Camden Yards renovated an old warehouse downtown, and now serves "Modern American Cuisine in the historic Inner Harbor". Its menu doesn't have dollar signs next to the prices and if something costs 12.50 they'll leave off the terminal zero. But rather than coming off as obnoxious and pretentious, it really works. The food used to be great, but in recent years it seems like the chef isn't really trying.

Their menu comes attached to a clipboard.


This is great.

Citi Field is one of those faux Irish pubs, like ones you'd find in Hoboken. Looks great and you'd think it's old and historic, but if you look closely at the sign out front, it says "Est. 2017" and the apps are great, but the main course is less than satisfying. And the neighborhood hasn't quite finished being gentrified yet.
   38. GregD Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5885995)
Yes the tunnel to Bart was madness! Bart itself seemed to be doing well through the layout of the platform is crazy with the closed stairwell.

So wish there had been a comeback that got the stadium rocking. The mood was somber in our area—214–from the fourth on
   39. hysdavid Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:11 PM (#5886296)
@RMc I attended this game right before the Birds dealt Bedard for a king's ransom. The atmosphere at that concrete doughnut was fantastic. A lasting memory was the "Marco" "Scutaro" chant by the Mt Davis dienzens. The fans in OAK are the best.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:36 PM (#5886303)
Citi Field is one of those faux Irish pubs, like ones you'd find in Hoboken.

yes, McFadden's.

with 100 pct Old Sod heritage blood coursing through my veins, I will comment.

for a ballpark pub, it's above average. as noted, some of the appetizers are pretty decent.

It sometimes hits the one mark that you want any NYC Irish pub to hit - you strike up a conversation with the strangers near you, and have a good time. I'm not sure if I could ask any more of the place, really, given that it's connected to a ballpark.

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