Amidst the continuing rumors circulating about the A’s packing up and moving out of the Oakland Coliseum and the city, I find myself overcome with wistful sentimentality about the whole situation. Negotiations between the team and the city appear to continue to break down each week, fueled this week by another front trip to Las Vegas.
This definitely doesn’t seem like a quick front office bonding retreat to Vegas with the team owner and the president.
In all this uncertainty, prompted by my nostalgia, we need to take a moment to appreciate the Coliseum before the A’s potentially jump ship. Whatever your thoughts on the Coliseum are, please indulge my brief dive into what makes it unique and an important piece of Oakland’s landscape.
Let’s Get One Thing Straight About the Oakland Coliseum
The Coliseum has been deemed one of the worst stadiums in baseball, with its absurdly wide foul territory and abundant concrete. But since when have baseball stadiums been defined ONLY by their physical characteristics?
Baseball fans crave nostalgia and, here, it’s about the connection with Oakland and what the A’s mean to the city.
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Some Early History
The A’s arrived in Oakland during expansion in the 1960s, after the Coliseum was completed in 1968. The team found success during the 1970s and the stadium became a key piece of the Oakland landscape. In 1972, the A’s clinched took their first title home to Oakland. And then again for the next two years.
The Bay began to bleed green and gold.
The Coliseum is Oakland, and Oakland is the Coliseum
Beyond the concrete sits Championship Park, with its green spaces and food trucks. Beyond the concrete, there is a consistent hum of life in the A’s Stomping Ground over the last few winning seasons – a place to feel the Oakland and Bay pride. Maybe also enjoy some pulled pork nachos.
While I wanted to write a short ode to the Coliseum, my mind has wandered to the connection between stadium and city. With the seemingly easy and clean breaks teams have made from their cities, I can’t help but feel like the Coliseum is synonymous with Oakland.
Despite the recent actions by the front office, the tension with the city, and financials, I hold out hope that maybe the A’s will stay. And I’m reminded of the Oakland native G-Eazy’s lyrics,
“I’m out here just mobbin’ in my Oakland A’s fitted, I’d never sell my soul, I stay green and gold.”
For the fanbase, let’s hope that Oakland will stay green and gold too.