Monday, December 28, 2015

Gray Ghost & Greed

A fan gives her opinion on the Oakland Coliseum and it's fun, comfortably inviting venue. After reading her "letter to the editor" I had to agree that the Coliseum needs little renovation if any to accommodate the needs of today's fans.

Oakland A's and Raiders fans come to watch their teams simply because they love the sport and are loyal to their teams. If Raiders games were played at the nearest high school football field fans would line up three days before just to get good general admission seating.  

Oakland Coliseum visitors need only edible meat on a bun and a stout grog to wash it all down.  Marketing of any other foods or products are luxuries the real fans can do without.

Granted, the new high definition screens are most welcome by fans, but it didn't take a new stadium budget to get those in. Coliseum fans enjoy some of the best ticket pricing in professional sports and as blue collar fans wouldn't trade that for all the wine and cheese in Santa Clara's Levi's Stadium.

So it begs the question, who's needs are really being fulfilled if and/or when a new stadium is built?  Anne Sullivan, of Santa Rosa writes a revealing letter that sounds closer to the truth than anything I've heard coming from owners or the leagues (NFL/MLB).

Embrace Oakland’s ‘gray ghost’
As a lifelong Oakland A’s fan, and former Oakland Raiders fan, I have to strongly object to the depiction of their home stadium as a 50-year-old, crumbling Coliseum (“A great, gray ghost of sports memories,” Dec. 24).
I find the Coliseum to be fun, comfortable and inviting.
Although I have had to navigate water on the bathroom floors on occasion, I have never once worried about a piece of concrete crashing down upon my head.
I very much enjoy tailgating in the spacious parking lot before A’s games and also enjoy the affordable ticket prices and fast-food concessions. (I don’t miss quiche and sushi at baseball games!)
The notion that the Coliseum is beyond repair is a billionaire owner’s perspective. There was nothing wrong with the Coliseum before Mount Davis was erected! It was a spacious stadium with great sight lines (which are still better than the new Giants stadium) and views of the East Bay Hills. I have become accustomed to the changes made to accommodate the Raiders’ return.
Why is it that this great, gray ghost is not good enough for the A’s and Raiders, if it is good enough for their fans?
Why is it that Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, which opened in 1923, is salvageable, safe and a great experience for 63,000 fans, and the Coliseum, which opened in 1966, is not?
One need look no further than Santa Clara for the answer: a horrible new edifice which is a cash cow at the public’s expense for billionaire owners!
I am appalled at the greed and disingenuousness of the major league sports. Long live the Great Gray Ghost: the last of the people’s sports venues!

Anne Sullivan, Santa Rosa

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