With decks divided into as many as six price ranges, along with Diamond Level, Field Boxes, and a multitude of other seat prices, the Oakland Coliseum now has 20 different seating options for fans: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
This season will mark my 48th year of Oakland A’s baseball at the (Never Inserting a Sponsor’s Name) Oakland Coliseum, the A’s forsaken concrete castle of Major League Ballparks.
Throughout all those season, I can honestly say I’ve watched a game from every seating selection available to fans from the sky boxes, Diamond Level, and Field Boxes all the way to the top row of the third deck breathing thin air and ducking low flying aircraft. In early years I’ve sat in the REAL bleachers, prior to the monstrosity known as Mt. Davis, and even the old loge section with its cushioned red seats.
Without going into detail of the current exorbitantly high ticket prices or the “creative” way the decks, that at one time were just one price per level, are now divided into six sections; a sunny afternoon or taking in a warm summer night at an A’s game has got to be the Happiest Place on Earth – especially with great seats and an Athletics lead on the scoreboard.
While baseball ticket prices in general appear to have rocketed over the years getting closely out of reach for many, A’s fans can still go to a few games a year without needing a second mortgage or dockside loan with a high vig to cover ticket costs.
(I could get all nostalgic here and talk about when I started watching the A’s first deck seats were only $3.50 and the bleachers were $1.50, 75 cents if you were under 14)
The “best seats” at the Coliseum are subjective. Each fan has their preferred place to sit taking into account price, vantage, fellow fans, foul ball chances, ticket availability, etc.
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Section 149 in right field has made themselves known with their history, rules and other rituals. This lively section that founded the Balfour Rage, the Saxes of Josh Reddick’s “Careless Whisper walk-up, and befriended the Royal’s Jeff Francoeur, is an experience in itself with signs, drums, and other quirks.
For me, I’m somewhat of a purist. I love not only the main sights and sounds of the game, but the behind the scenes noises, actions, and chatter not caught on television. There are just certain things that don’t come across on a 55-inch Samsung flatscreen
While sitting in Diamond Level puts you right in the middle of the action with a view behind home plate and a guaranteed full belly, the best seats to me have been sitting in the FIRST ROW behind the A’s dugout, Sections 120-122, Row 9 – a luxury I allow myself at least once a year when attainable.
Me in my 1969 Throwback on Sept 2, 2013. Best seats ever – behind the dugout.
From there the view is unobstructed, player interaction is right there and you feel you can high-five the players or be part of the home run tunnel.
In general I’ve become spoiled over the years. What was once not caring where I sat as long as I got to go to the game, has now become the need for good seats. Unfortunately, at the same time, I’m not even close to having the kind of coin required to get close seats I want legitimately and have been known to poach good seats a time – an art I’ve prided myself in. (My personal best is snagging a pair 8 rows from the Tigers dugout for Game 2 of the 2013 ALDS)
Back in the 70s when crowds of less than 10,000 were frequent and sellouts only came a handful of times a season; the search for good seats wasn’t as much an issue.
About everyone I know feels differently about where, in general, the “best seats” are. As stated, I’m a behind the dugout guy or to the side of home plate. I’ve also been known to be a first-row-on-the-field-up-the-line guy , others are always bleacher creatures, or rave about the Plaza Level behind the plate to get an overall view of all the action. I’m definitely not a fan of sky boxes, especially when behind glass and unable to hear the action.
With the start of the 2015 season only weeks away, where do you want to sit?