Thanks for the Memories


Stephen McDonald, Staff Writer

Oakland is a dump, and the coliseum is the nicest part of the city.

The Oakland A’s announced last week that they had purchased land near the Las Vegas strip for their new stadium, all but solidifying their move to Nevada.

The A’s moved to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968 after being born in Philadelphia in the late 1800’s as an amateur athletic team. They are one of the most historic teams in all of professional sports in America. Once moving they started play in the Oakland Coliseum, at the time one of the nicest and newest stadiums in the world, and currently a rotting dump. in the 70’s the A’s were the team to beat, winning three World Series in a row from 1972-74 behind Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers.

The late 80’s had a World Series matchup against the cross bay rivals, the San Francisco Giants. The Series is remembered for the Loma Prieta Earthquake hitting before game three. The quake caused billions and damage and killed over 60 people. It also severely damaged the Oakland Bay Bridge between the two cities with part of the bridge collapsing. The last 30 years haven’t been as excited. After the moneyball craze followed by a book and movie, the A’s have been known as a tightwad team playing in a rotting stadium.

That stadium, The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is rotting, and it is not the A’s fault. The Bay Area in recent years has had a problem with stadiums falling apart, and the cities of San Francisco and Oakland have failed their citizens. Candlestick Park a few years ago was demolished and the 49ers moved from inside the city limits to over an hour away in Santa Clara. Levi’s stadium has been regarded as a corporate haven to the disgust of the fans, every object from the urinals to the type of grass has a corporate sponsorship. With it being in Santa Clara the temperatures are much warmer. Candlestick was freezing and windy, and Levi’s is boiling hot, and has little to no shade throughout the stadium.

The Coliseum on the other hand has been a problem for 40 years. The Raiders moved in the 1980’s due to the deteriorating conditions on the relatively new stadium. To woo the team back the Oakland City Council voted to put Mt Davis in place. A 20000 seat upper deck area which blocked all views of the Oakland Skyline and angered baseball fans. Once the Raiders came back the mount soon had to be covered with a tarp so the team wouldn’t be blacked out on local TV. And now that the Raiders left a few years ago the stadium is continuing to decompose with the lackluster A’s, with mount Davis covered by a tarp. To add insult to injury the County has banned corporate sponsorships on the tarp itself, generating less revenue that could have been used to help the stadium’s conditions.

The City Council has failed their citizens, with in a 5 year span the Warriors leaving for San Francisco, The Raiders heading to Vegas and the A’s following suit, and it is all for money. The tickets to Athletic’s games are insanely ridiculous, the lowest being $14, compared to Wednesday’s away game at the Angels where they are selling $3 tickets. You’ll also pay above league average for a hotdog and beer, $6 and $7 respectively. Now throw in parking which is $30 at its cheapest you’ll be paying at least $57 for a game. For a city that is already quite poor and heavily taxed it is outrageous to think that anyone would show up. The A’s don’t have a fanbase problem, they have a greed problem, and they’ll continue to have that in Las Vegas.

It really is a shame that the A’s are leaving Oakland, the Coliseum is a dying architectural model from a dead era of exciting baseball, no longer will the city of Oakland have professional major league baseball, and the fans can’t be to blame. Greed has brought the demise of sports in Oakland, making a depressing city even sadder. Thanks for the memories from Reggie Jackson to Dennis Eckersley, hopefully one day there will be baseball in Oakland again hopefully.