Let’s face it: the Oakland Athletics live in a dump of a stadium.
The O.co Coliseum has been open since 1966 and home of the A’s since moving to the west coast two years later. It’s the only stadium left that is shared between an MLB team and an NFL team on a regular basis.
Yes, the Raiders call the place home as well–begrudgingly–but most of the stadium ills tend to be based around their baseball co-tenants. They aren’t the ones dealing with raw sewage on a regular basis, nor are they dealing with a rainout that was the fault of an incompetent grounds crew. But both teams are lacking the revenue streams that most teams have, like luxury suites. Hey, at least the A’s are annual playoff contenders.
In any case, the Coliseum needs replaced–and probably the surrounding sewage lines completely excavated–and while both teams are struggling to find a long-term solution, each has a solution that is easier than one thinks.
Let’s start with the Raiders, because this article isn’t about them. They need to either A. Move back to Los Angeles, or B. Share the new Levi’s Stadium with the San Francisco 49ers. Raiders owner Mark Davis doesn’t want to be a secondary tenant to their Bay Area rival, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell not only supports it, but encourages it. At some point, the Raiders are going to have to give in to something.
As for the A’s? Their desire to build Cisco Field in San Jose keeps getting stalled due to the San Francisco Giants claiming territorial rights, with inaction by MLB, and with Bud Selig being a lame-duck commissioner this season, likely won’t be resolved until 2015 at the earliest. The A’s have claimed that there isn’t another site in Oakland that is desirable.
Contrary to what they want to believe, there is a desirable site: it’s right under their feet. Yes, I’m talking about the site of the Coliseum. The Raiders have talked about it for themselves, but they have more options than the A’s. Also, as I said before, Goodell might force the Raiders to share Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers anyways.
If the proposed Cisco Field is built on the site of the Coliseum, the A’s would need a temporary home for 2-3 seasons while Cisco Field is under construction. But where would they play? They could temporarily share AT&T Park with the Giants, but that will cause scheduling conflicts. With baseball in play almost every day, there isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room like there would be in the other three major professional sports leagues, two of which (the NFL and the NBA) have existing dual-stadium situations. A move wouldn’t be unprecedented–both the Giants and A’s have shared stadiums in the past with other baseball teams (the then-New York Giants shared the Polo Grounds with the New York Yankees from 1913-1922 while the then-Philadelphia Athletics shared Shibe Park with the Philadelphia Philles from 1938-1954), as well as the St. Louis Cardinals sharing Sportsman’s Park with the St. Louis Browns (the present-day Baltimore Orioles) from 1920-1953, but there is a better option available.
How about Candlestick Park?
Candlestick was slated to be demolished after the 49ers season ended, but it has been pushed back to possibly 2015. No one else is using it, and it could be reconfigured back into a baseball-only facility while Cisco Field is under construction and without causing scheduling conflicts with the Giants. Of course, the Giants would still have to give the A’s permission to use their former home, but seeing that it would only be temporary unlike a proposed move to San Jose, they might be willing to allow it.
So how about it? The A’s play at Candlestick while Cisco Field is being built on the site of the Coliseum. It solves their stadium problem while keeping the Giants happy. And it would keep Candlestick open a few more years before finally being demolished.
As for the Raiders? I think Levi’s Stadium is calling your name.