Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
|The Coliseum, Oakland Coliseum|
|O.co Coliseum logo|
|Former names||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (1966–1998, 2004–present)|
Network Associates Coliseum (1998–2004)
McAfee Coliseum (2004–2008)
Overstock.com Coliseum (May 2011)
|Location||7000 Coliseum Way|
Oakland, California 94621
|Broke ground||April 15, 1964|
|Opened||September 18, 1966|
|Owner||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority (City of Oakland and Alameda County)|
|Construction cost||$25.5 million|
($173 million in 2021 dollars)
$200 million (1995-1996 renovation)
($280 million in 2021 dollars)
|Architect||Skidmore, Owings and Merrill|
HNTB (1995-1996 renovation)
|General Contractor||Guy F. Atkinson Company|
|Capacity||Baseball: 35,067 (expandable to approx. 60,000)|
Soccer: 47,416 or 63,026 (depending on configuration)
|Field dimensions||Left Field - 330 feet (101 m)|
Left-Center - 367 feet (112 m)
Center Field - 400 feet (122 m)
Right-Center - 367 feet (112 m)
Right Field - 330 feet (101 m)
Backstop - 60 feet (18 m)
|Oakland Athletics (MLB) (1968–present)|
Oakland Raiders (AFL / NFL) (1966–1981, 1995–present)
Oakland Invaders (USFL) (1983–1985)
Oakland Clippers (NPSL/NASL) (1967–68)
Oakland Stompers (NASL) (1978)
San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) (2008–2009)
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 contains 6,300 club seats (of which 2,700 are available for Athletics games) and 143 luxury suites (of which 125 are available for Athletics games), with a variable seating capacity of 35,067 for baseball, 63,026 for football, and either 47,416 or 63,026 for soccer, depending on its configuration.
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 MLB, and the Oakland Raiders, of the NFL. It was also home to the San Jose Earthquakes, of MLS, who used the stadium for several larger attendance games, during the 2008-2009 seasons. As of September 28, 2011, the Coliseum is the last multi-purpose stadium to serve as a full-time home to both an MLB team and an NFL team.
It also hosted some games of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Business and political leaders in Oakland had long been in competition with its neighbor, San Francisco, as well as other cities in the West, and were also trying for Oakland and its suburbs (the greater East Bay) to be seen nationally as a viable metropolitan area with its own identity and reputation, distinct and separate from that of San Francisco; professional sports was seen as a primary way for the East Bay to gain such recognition. As a result, the desire for a major-league caliber stadium in the city of Oakland intensified during the 1950s and 1960s.
By 1960, a non-profit corporation was formed to oversee the financing and development of the facility (rather than city or county government issuing taxpayer-backed bonds for construction). Local real estate developer Robert T. Nahas headed this group (which included other prominent East Bay business leaders such as former US Senator William Knowland and Edgar F. Kaiser), which later became the governing board of the Coliseum upon completion. It was Nahas' idea that the Coliseum be privately financed with ownership transferring to the city and county upon retirement of the construction financing.
Robert T. Nahas served twenty years as President of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Board. On the death of Nahas, the San Francisco Chronicle's Rick DelVecchio quoted Jack Maltester, a former San Leandro mayor and Coliseum board member, "If not for Bob Nahas, there would be no Coliseum, it's really that simple." Nahas had to be a diplomat dealing with the egos of (Raiders owner) Al Davis, (Athletics owner) Charles O. Finley and (Golden State Warriors owner) Franklin Mieuli.
Preliminary architectural plans were unveiled in November 1960, and the following month a site was chosen west of the Elmhurst district of East Oakland alongside the then-recently completed Nimitz Freeway. A downtown site adjacent to Lake Merritt and the Oakland Auditorium (which itself, many years later, would be renamed the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center) was also originally considered. The Port of Oakland played a key role in the East Oakland site selection; The Port swapped 157 acres (64 ha) at the head of San Leandro Bay to the East Bay Regional Park District, in exchange for 105 acres (42 ha) of park land across the freeway, which the Port in turn donated to the City of Oakland as the site for the Coliseum sports complex.
The Oakland Raiders of the American Football League moved to Frank Youell Field, a makeshift stadium near downtown Oakland, in 1962, and the Coliseum was already being heralded in the local media as the Raiders' future permanent home. Baseball was also a major factor in the planning of the Coliseum. As early as 1961, the American League publicly indicated that it wished to include Oakland in its West Coast expansion plans. In 1963, American League president Joe Cronin suggested that Coliseum officials model some aspects of the new ballpark after then-new Dodger Stadium, which impressed him, though these expansion plans seemed to fade by the middle of the decade.
After approval from the city of Oakland as well as Alameda County by 1962, $25 million in financing was arranged. Plans were drawn for a stadium, an indoor arena and an exhibition hall in between them. The architect of record was the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and the general contractor was Guy F. Atkinson Company. Preliminary site preparation began in the summer of 1961. Construction began in the spring of 1962. The construction schedule was delayed for two years due to various legal issues and cost overruns; the original design of the Coliseum had to be modified slightly in order to stay on budget. (For details on the indoor arena, now known as Oracle Arena, refer to that facility's article.)
In 1965, it was rumored that the Cleveland Indians might leave Cleveland for a West Coast city (such as Oakland), but the Indians ended up remaining in Cleveland. Charlie Finley, owner of the Kansas City A's, unhappy in Kansas City, impressed by Oakland's new stadium and personally convinced to consider Oakland by Nahas, eventually got permission after several unsuccessful attempts and amid considerable controversy, to relocate his American League franchise to the stadium for the 1968 season (for details on the controversy, see the separate articles for the A's and the Kansas City Royals, the expansion franchise created to replace the A's in Kansas City).
The Raiders played their first game at the stadium on September 18, 1966. In 1968, the Kansas City Athletics became the Oakland Athletics and began play at the new stadium. The Athletics' first game was played on April 17, 1968. The stadium complex cost $25.5 million to build and rests on 120 acres (49 ha) of land. On April 17, 1968, Boog Powell hit the first major league home run in the history of the Coliseum. On May 8 of that year, Catfish Hunter pitched the ninth perfect game in Major League history at the Coliseum.
The Coliseum features an underground design where the playing surface is actually below ground level (21 feet / 6 meters below sea level). Consequently fans entering the stadium find themselves walking on to the main concourse of the stadium at the top of the first level of seats. This, combined with the hill that was built around the stadium to create the upper concourse, means that only the third deck is visible from outside the park. This gives the Coliseum the illusion of being a short stadium from the outside.
In its baseball configuration, the Coliseum has far and away the most foul territory of any major league ballpark. This is especially the case along the foul lines. Thus, many balls that would reach the seats in other ballparks are caught for outs at the Coliseum. The distance to the backstop was initially 90 feet (27 m), but was reduced to 60 feet (18 m) in 1969.
From 1968 through 1981 and again in 1995, two football configurations were used at the stadium. During Raider preseason games and all regular season games played while baseball season was still going on, the field was set up from home plate to center field. Seats that were down the foul lines for baseball games became the sideline seats for football games, which started up to 120 feet away from the field (most football-only stadiums have sideline seats that start around 60 feet away). Once the A's season ended, the orientation was switched: the football field ran from the left field line to the right field line, seats were moved from behind first and third base to create corners for the end zone to fit into (these seats were then placed to fill in the space that was normally behind home plate and near the foul poles for baseball games). Temporary football bleachers were then added in front of the baseball bleachers to form the sideline on the east (visitors') side, and the baseball bleachers were not sold. Raider season ticket holders would thus have two season ticket locations in different parts of the stadium that roughly corresponded to the same location in relation to the field.
Hosted the 1971 East–West Shrine Game on January 2nd, 1971.
Marvin Gaye made his official return to live performing and touring at the Coliseum on January 4, 1974 and the Coliseum was the basis for his one-million selling live album, Marvin Gaye Live! At the time, music industry executives cited the tour as a "heralded event" as Gaye made a comeback to live touring nearly four years after the death of his late singing partner Tammi Terrell.
Led Zeppelin played what turned out to be their final North American concerts with twin shows during their 1977 North American Tour. After their first show on July 23, members of Led Zeppelin's entourage were arrested after a member of promoter Bill Graham's staff was physically assaulted during the performance.
The awkwardness of the baseball-football conversion, as well as the low seating capacity (around 54,000 for football) and that the prime seating on the east side consisted of temporary bleachers led the Raiders to explore other stadium options. One such option was Memorial Stadium on the UC Berkeley campus. Several preseason games were played there in the early 1970's along with one regular season game in 1973 (a 12-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins during September while the A's regular season was going on). However, in response to traffic and parking issues associated with these games (while Cal games drew a large number of students who live on or near campus and walk to the games, Raider games attracted fans from a larger geographic area who were used to tailgating at the Coliseum and were more likely to drive to games), the City of Berkeley passed a Professional Sports Events License Tax in which the city collected 10% of all gate receipts, making the staging of professional games inside the city cost-prohibitive. The Raiders were granted an injunction from the city collecting the tax, arguing that the tax was a regulatory measure rather than a revenue measure, and was therefore an improper regulation on land held in trust by the Regents of the University of California. However, the grant of the injunction was reversed by the California Court of Appeals, who found it to be a revenue measure, despite the fact that the city had made the measure immediately effective "due to danger to the public peace, health, and safety of the City of Berkeley as a result of the holding of professional sports events there."
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. On 17 April 1979, only 653 fans attended the game versus the Seattle Mariners. During this time, it was popularly known as the "Oakland Mausoleum."
In 1980, the Raiders won Super Bowl XV. Two years later, the Raiders moved to Los Angeles, leaving the A's as the only remaining tenants of Oakland Coliseum. Only days later, Finley sold the A's to Marvin Davis, who planned to move the A's to Denver. However, city and county officials were not about to lose Oakland's status as a major-league city in its own right, and 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.
The 1987 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held at the stadium. From 1988-1990, the venue saw three more World Series. In 1989, the Athletics won their fourth Series since moving to Oakland, sweeping the San Francisco Giants in the earthquake-interrupted "Battle of the Bay" Series.
The stadium played host to Amnesty International's Human Rights Now! Benefit Concert on September 23, 1988. The show was headlined by Sting and Peter Gabriel and also featured Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Tracy Chapman, Youssou N'Dour, Roy Orbison and Joan Baez.
In the '90s, several major concerts were held, but these were not "Days on the Green", by definition, because they occurred at night.
The stadium was the location for the 1994 Disney movie Angels in the Outfield. Although Angel Stadium of Anaheim (known as Anaheim Stadium at the time) was where the Angels actually played, it was damaged in the 1994 Southern California earthquake. Anaheim Stadium was used for views from the outside and aerial views, while the Coliseum was used for interior shots.
In July 1995, the Raiders agreed to return to Oakland provided that Oakland Coliseum underwent renovations. In November 1995, those renovations commenced and continued through the next summer until the beginning of the 1996 football season (more info below). The new layout also had the somewhat peculiar effect of creating an inward jog in the outfield fence, in left-center and right-center. There are now three distance markers instead of one, at various points of the power alleys, as indicated in the dimensions grid. The Raiders return also heralded the creation of the "Black Hole," a highly recognizable group of fans who occupy one end zone seating during football games.
Along with the since-demolished Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the stadium features the unusual configuration of laying the football field on a line from first to third base rather than laying it from home plate to center field, or parallel to one of the foul lines, as with most multi-purpose facilities. Thus, a seat behind home plate for baseball is behind the 50-yard line for football. With the Marlins opening their own ballpark in 2012, the stadium is set to become the last venue in the United States that hosts both Major League Baseball and an NFL team.
In November 2007, the San Jose Earthquakes, of MLS, announced they would be playing their "big draw" games, such as those featuring David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy, at the stadium. Regular draw games are being played at Buck Shaw Stadium, in Santa Clara.
Midway through the decade, the stadium established a "no re-entry" policy. Each ticket can only be used once, after which a second ticket must be purchased in order to re-enter the Coliseum.
On May 9, 2010, almost 42 years to the day of Catfish Hunter's perfect game, Dallas Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in Major League history at the Coliseum. A commemorative graphic was placed on the baseball outfield wall next to Rickey Henderson's retired number on May 17, their next home game.
U2 performed during their 360° Tour on June 7, 2011, with Lenny Kravitz and Moonalice as their opening acts. The show was originally scheduled to take place on June 16, 2010, but was postponed, due to Bono's emergency back surgery. As an emergency replacement, The Crunchees filled in at the last minute.
In September 1997, UMAX Technologies agreed to acquire the naming rights to the stadium. However, following a dispute, a court decision reinstated the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum name. In 1998, Network Associates agreed to pay $5.8 million over five years for the naming rights and the stadium became known as Network Associates Coliseum, or, alternately in marketing and media usage as, "the Net."
In 2003, Network Associates renewed the contract for an additional five years at a cost of $6 million. In mid-2004, Network Associates was renamed McAfee, restoring its name from before its 1997 merger with Network General, and the stadium was renamed McAfee Coliseum accordingly.
In 2008, McAfee was offered a renewal of the naming contract, but it was declined. On September 19, 2008, the name reverted back to the pre-1997 name of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The stadium retained its original name until April 27, 2011, when it was renamed Overstock.com Coliseum via a 6 year, 1.2 million dollar naming rights deal with online retailer Overstock.com. On June 6, 2011, the Coliseum was renamed O.co Coliseum, after Overstock.com's marketing name. However due to a contract dispute with the Athletics regarding the Overstock/O.co naming rights deal, the A's continue to refer to the stadium as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in all official team communications and on team websites.
Despite the different name changes, locals generally refer to the stadium as "The Coliseum." This fits the trend of older stadium renamings being rejected by the general public. This is especially true in the San Francisco Bay Area where changes to the name of nearby Candlestick Park have been wholly rejected by voters, and changes to the names of both Pacific Bell Park and the San Jose Arena were received with much negative criticism and widely ignored by fans and media alike.
On August 12, 2005, the A's new owner Lewis Wolff made the A's first official proposal for a new ballpark in Oakland to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. The new stadium would have been located across 66th Avenue from the Coliseum in what is currently an industrial area north of the Coliseum. The park would have held 35,000 fans, making it the smallest park in the major leagues. Plans for the Oakland location fell through in early 2006 when several of the owners of the land proposed for the new ballpark made known their wish to not sell.
Throughout 2006, the Athletics continued to search for a ballpark site within their designated territory of Alameda County. Late in 2006, rumors began to circulate regarding a 143-acre (58 ha) parcel of land in Fremont, California being the new site. These rumors were confirmed by the Fremont city council on November 8 of that year. Wolff met with the council that day to present his plan to move the A's to Fremont into a soon to be built ballpark named Cisco Field. Wolff and Cisco Systems conducted a Press Conference at the San Jose-based headquarters of Cisco Systems on November 14, 2006 to confirm the deal, and showcase some details of the future plan. However, on February 24, 2009, after delays and increased public opposition, the Athletics officially ended their search for a stadium site in Fremont. Speculation was raised as to whether or not the Athletics franchise would remain in Northern California in the long term as a result of the termination of the Cisco Field plan.
In 2010, two building sites have become leading candidates for a new Athletics' home: a site in downtown San Jose located near HP Pavilion (home of the NHL San Jose Sharks) and a proposed stadium in Oakland named Victory Court.
Under any such replacement proposals, the Oakland Raiders would presumably continue to play football in the Coliseum, although there have been recent proposals for a new football-only stadium in the Bay Area which the Raiders could share with the San Francisco 49ers and rumors regarding the Raiders' possible return to Los Angeles.
One feature of the 1996 expansion was the addition of over 10,000 seats in the upper deck that now spans the outfield in the baseball configuration. The effect of these new stands, comprising sections 335–355, was to completely enclose the stadium, eliminating the view of the Oakland hills that had been the stadium's backdrop for 30 years.
The stands are very narrow and steeply pitched, bringing the back row of its uppermost tier to a height rarely seen in modern stadiums. Due to the stands' height and the loss of the Oakland hills view, A's fans have derisively nicknamed the structure "Mount Davis" or "the AL-ps," in mockery of late Raiders owner Al Davis.
It has been criticized as an area which has made the O.co Coliseum look ever more like a football stadium, and not at all one for baseball. From 1997 through 2004, the A's left the section open, but it was rarely filled except for fireworks nights and the postseason. The A's did not count the area in the listed capacity for baseball; hence, even though the "official" baseball capacity was 43,662 (48,219 with standing room), the "actual" capacity was around 60,000.
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 - still very small. 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). Even if the game is otherwise sold out, the A's will not sell any seats in the area that remains covered.
An exception may be made if the A's return to the postseason. However, the A's did not remove the tarp during the 2006 postseason. Though it was never officially confirmed, it was widely speculated that the MLB Commissioner's office had plans to order the removal of the tarp in the event that the A's advanced to the 2006 World Series. Oakland was swept by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, making any such tarp-removal plans moot.
The closure of the upper deck can also be viewed as establishing two seating configurations: the lower and middle decks for baseball, and all sections plus additional seating for football and concerts.
- Oakland Raiders Fan Guide
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
- "Official statements concerning the cancellation of gr and prix arizona". http://www.champcarworldseries.com/News/Article.asp?ID=12147. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- About Us: History. Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum official website. SMG (management company). Retrieved 2011-09-20. See also: About SMG (SMG official website. Retrieved September 20, 2011.) and SMG At-a-Glance: Stadiums (SMG official website. Retrieved September 20, 2011.).
- Woodall, Angela (April 7, 2012). "Oakland Coliseum Still Bears O.co Name". San Jose Mercury News. http://www.mercurynews.com/athletics/ci_20347459/oakland-coliseum-still-bears-o-co-name. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew (May 12, 2011). "New Name in Oakland Sports: Overstock.com Coliseum". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/26/BAJS1J7VNM.DTL. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
- Oakland Tribune, November 3, 1960, front page
- Chapter 2 - LWVO Study
- Oakland Tribune, January 27, 1963, pg. 39E
- Oakland Tribune, April 3, 1964, page E49
- Robert Nahas obituary, San Francisco Chronicle, February 26, 2002. Retrieved April 13, 2008.
- "Home Run Baptism of New Parks". sabr.org. http://research.sabr.org/journals/home-run-baptism-of-new-parks. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- "May 8, 1968 Twins-Athletics box score". Baseball-reference.com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/OAK/OAK196805080.shtml. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
- "Oakland Raiders vs. City of Berkeley, 65 Cal. App. 3d 623". http://law.justia.com/cases/california/calapp3d/65/623.html.
- April 17, 1979 Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com
- Gigantour 2008 Official site
- San Jose Earthquakes: Home: FAQ
- Goll, David (February 24, 2009). "A's Abandon Plans for Fremont Ballpark". Sacramento Business Journal (Bizjournals.com). http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2009/02/23/daily28.html. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
- http://www.mercurynews.com/mark-purdy/ci_16765087?source=autofeed[dead link]
- "NFL: 49ers & Raiders Should Share Stadium - NFL - Rumors". FanNation. January 25, 2009. http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/87812. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
- [http://mvn.com/miningthegoldrush/2009/01/49ers-and-raiders-to-share-stadium.html 49ers and Raiders to Share Stadium][dead link]
- Los Angeles stadium planner: Talks held with five NFL teams - Sports Illustrated, June 10, 2011
- "Inside the Press Box: Oakland: Less Seats, More Filling". http://www.loveofthegameproductions.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1125. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- Stadium site on oaklandathletics.com
- Official Site
- County Coliseum_coliseum.htm Visit to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
- History of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
- USGS aerial of Coliseum-Arena complex
- College football at the Oakland Coliseum from FootballGeography.com
|Events and tenants|
|Home of the
1968 – present
Proposed Cisco Field in 2015
Frank Youell Field
|Home of the
1966 – 1981
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
|Home of the
1995 – present
|Host of the All-Star Game
|Home of the
San Jose Earthquakes
(with Buck Shaw Stadium)
2008 – 2009
Buck Shaw Stadium
Miami Orange Bowl
Three Rivers Stadium
|Host of AFC Championship Game
Three Rivers Stadium
Mile High Stadium
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at O.co Coliseum.|
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with American Football Database, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.