My Travels – MLB Stadiums: Coliseum, Oakland Athletics (April 25, 2013)

After our visit to AT&T Park, we took the short drive over the bay into Oakland and the home of Moneyball. We watched the A’s jump out to a 2-0 lead over the Orioles in the first couple of innings, only to get pounded 10-2 in the final box score. The outcome of the game somewhat matched our experience at Oakland. It’s not pretty, folks, hide the kids before we get into a full review of Coliseum…

If AT&T Park is one of the true beauties in MLB, then Coliseum is her ugly stepsister. To put it gently, Coliseum took a swan dive in our ballpark rankings before we even walked inside its gates.

When the in-game emcee and camera crew can gather only a sparse handful of quasi-interested, half-awake fans from an entire section, all of whom are wearing a grand total of maybe two pieces of team apparel in any of their attire, all for the purpose of playing a fan game that the emcee prefaces with “okay, now remember to act excited”… that gives you a State of the Union on baseball in Oakland.

And the team deserves so much more than this! Oakland has fielded some of the best teams in baseball history, including recent history (2012 AL West Champions!), and yet they have to endure the cold confines of this glorified concrete half-bowl. I understand, the Coliseum was built for the Raiders, the pride of Oakland, but the A’s deserve a home of their own. Rumor is that a new home for them in the San Jose area is set for completion in 2017.

If you are wanting to catch some Moneyball, brace yourself and keep these tips in mind:

  • The Coliseum shares a parking lot with Oracle Arena (home of the Golden State Warriors). Parking cost us $17 and we were well within walking distance of the Coliseum.
  • The food is actually the best part of Coliseum, but it’s still not great. I had a Philly Cheesesteak that could go a dozen rounds with almost any other Philly steak I’ve met. Kara ordered a meatball sandwich that was fairly decent as well.
  • BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) also services fans to the Coliseum. It’s worth looking at transit times and availability if you’re planning on shuttling over from San Francisco.
  • The A’s mascot is an elephant. Who knew?!
  • Even with an atmosphere like the Coliseum, the A’s are still one of the best young teams in MLB. It will be exciting to see them continue to grow over the next few years.

In the end, we chalked up Oakland as a great team with a lousy home. Hopefully they’ll get a new location to fit a quality team for the future. Eighteen stadiums down, only twelve more before we’re done!

Jon and Kara at O.Co Coliseum

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