Why a Baseball Game in Oakland Should be on Every Sports Fan’s Bucket List!

It’s the worst stadium in professional sports.  It’s literally craptastic! It’s not located downtown or in an up and coming warehouse district where fans can distract themselves from, you know,  the actual game. There are no views.  There’s no faux retro charm.  They have to share the stadium with a football team so the field gets beat up at the end of the year, just when the A’s are hoping to be on the national stage.

There are no micro-breweries or Japanese – Scandinavian fusions restaurants where you can grab a bite before or after the game. Nope, it’s located between a freeway, an industrial complex, recycling yards, train tracks and some pretty dicey public housing.  Yep, that’s what you get when you come to a baseball game in Oakland. And that is EXACTLY why a game in Oakland should be on your bucket list!

Because, see, what you get is the best crowd in professional sports.  Not the biggest mind you, but the best.  Last night in Oakland the A’s and Tigers played the first game of their 5 game playoff series.  And this is what the crowd was like – WITH THE A’S LOSING – going into the bottom of the 9th inning!!!

And here is the reaction in the 7th inning when Yoenis Céspedes of the Oakland Athletics blasts a two-run homer to pull the A’s within 3-2, sending 48,000 fans into delirium.

Games at the o.co Coliseum are a mixture of college football, European futbol game and minor league baseball all in one.  The fans – by far the most diverse group in pro sports – non-stop chant, bang drums, honk horns, sing and wave towels and banners.  It’s one of few stadiums left where handmade signs are draped around the railings throughout the stadium.  And it’s all just so sort of ironic given the fans are the farthest away from the field, there’s no roof or baffling to keep the sound it.  But don’t just take my word for it, Detroit manager Jim Leyland talks about it here:

And the players interact with the fans in way no other players in any professional sport in America do.  That last point is due in large part because with the A’s small payroll,  the vast majority of the players are making not insanely  more than the fans who fill the stadium do.  They can relate with the fans and the fans with them. And even the few players who make in the millions for the A’s get caught up in that.  There is a camaraderie between player and fan you see nowhere else (with maybe the exception of Green Bay and the Packers).

So if you’re sports fan, and you long for what you think professional sports should be all about, do yourself a favor and head to a game at the o.co Coliseum in Oakland.  And just for that night, no matter who you normally root for, go ahead and let out a few hearty “LET’S GO OAKLAND” chants with the rest of the crowd!

17 thoughts on “Why a Baseball Game in Oakland Should be on Every Sports Fan’s Bucket List!

  1. Having been to that ‘craptastic’ stadium, on more than one occasion, let me just say, if this makes a person’s Bucket List, might I also suggest vacationing in Mogadishu, or doing something constructive with your time. Like teaching an inner-city kid or Kardashian sister how to read. This place is a dump. And that’s really the nicest thing that can be said of that hell-hole.

  2. The antiquated state of the Coliseum is what makes it great. It’s so bad, it’s good, if you will. Add to that the the civic pride of the fan base and you have an experience that transcends baseball. If you love the game and are fascinated with the human condition, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is a true delight.

    GO A’s!

      • Wait a second. This person replies in a manner you like, and he hits the nail on the head. I on the other hand, who did get the point of your hipster post, that the Whatever-The-Hell-It’s-Called-Now-Stadium, is so bad, that it’s good. But it isn’t. It’s a dump. I love baseball, and have been to a few venues across the country. Trust me when I tell you it was worst stadium experience i’ve ever had. I’m sure A’s fans love it. And i’m sure if I lived in Oakland, I would appreciate the antiquated, dismal surroundings. But i’m not an A’s fan, nor do I live in Oakland. Therefore, I call it like I see it: it’s a sad looking park that a lot of AAA teams wouldn’t want to play in. Not knocking the A’s however, not a fan, but a hell of a team.

      • Hey S. Garcia – thanks for the comment and for reading!! Seriously, thanks! But you did miss the point. IT IS A DUMP!!! no one in their right mind would choose it as the place to play. Which is why the games being so electric there is that much more amazing. I chose those photos intentionally to show how awful it is. The point of the blog isn’t “look how great the Coliseum – that’s how I’ll always know it – is…” it’s just the opposite, which is why going there and having a great time is even more remarkable. Thanks again for reading!!

  3. It may be a crap hole, but it’s MY crap hole. No place I’d rather be on a Tuesday night in the summer than at the Oakland Mausoleum with 7,000 of my closest friends. Great blog Ken!

  4. Candlestick was far, far worse. I saw a game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome back in 1988. That was the worst venue–I won’t call it a “ballpark”–I’ve ever been to. I’m glad to see that the Twins now play in Target Field, even if the weather is terrible early in the season. I have yet to visit Tropicana Field, but it has to be worse than the Coliseum. Dome baseball sucks.

    I’ve been attending games at the Coliseum since 1972 so I’m more than a bit biased, but I love the ballpark. It’s easy to get to. The field is kept in terrific condition, at least until the Raiders start grinding it up in September. The weather is terrific, at least for day games. It can be a bit cold at night but at least it’s not an inferno like many other places across the country. I firmly believe that the cool weather helps keep the A’s strong through the season. The weather for these last two ALDS home games was incredible!

  5. Beautiful. Article and post. What about me, you say? I hate cute. Oakland ain’t cute. I love a park named Oakland Alameda County Network Associates McAfee Overstock.com O.co Coliseum. And the players and fans therein. (always a caveat. One cute thing I like. bassets)

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