Nothing More Than ‘Lipstick on a Pig’


A first-look rendering of the new right-field scoreboard at Coliseum. Athletics Media Photo

The Oakland A’s recently announced that two new Oakland Coliseum scoreboards, one in left field and one in right field, will be ready by the opening of the 2015 season. This was part of a lease agreement last July which called for $10 million invested by the team for construction.

The transformation of the previous scoreboards, which had both a DiamondVision screen and lighted statistical board, includes more than 5,200 square feet and more than 4.2 million LEDs per display.

Two three-and-half foot tall ribbon boards are also being installed along the facing between the first and second decks down the left and right field lines replacing the scoreboards that had been in existence essentially since the A’s first season in 1968. Those displays, which have become common in other more modern ballparks, will measure about 1,495 square feet with more than 1.3 million LEDs per display.

Say bye-bye to the old relics and hello to new technology, but these changes are nothing more than “lipstick on a pig” as the changes are simply superficial and cosmetic in a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of the establishment – an aging and falling apart outdated multi-purpose ballpark.

With the recent affirmation by the Court of Appeal last week denying an OAKLAND fan-devastating move to San Jose, the A’s future stadium situation is no clearer than it was in 2005 when Lew Wolff and others pitched the Fremont site and subsequent Port of Oakland site.

The Coliseum’s original configuration of bleachers, open air, and scoreboards on the outfield light standards.

One of the Coliseum’s earlier qualities was the fact of its openness and views of the Oakland hills. Stadium officials killed that feature with the construction of the Mt. Davis monstrosity in 1996 to appease the move back of the Oakland Raiders. Now even for Raider games, the top deck serves no purpose as it is tarped over as a way to avoid local blackouts as the Silver & Black struggles to draw fans to home games.

Even though this gargantuan eyesore for baseball games includes a couple levels of luxury seats and club boxes, it has proven to have no benefit from its original configuration of bleachers, open air, and scoreboards on the outfield light standards. It’s hard to believe this stadium blight has been in existence for its 20th season.

With Warriors moving to a new arena in San Francisco shortly, and the idea of a new football-only stadium being built adjacent to the current Coliseum site remains alive, there still is no firm plan for anything new in the A’s future.

Instead of all the glitz and hoopla of new scoreboards, the A’s blew their chance to convert their home back to something more suitable in time for its golden anniversary.