For years and years, we as A’s fans have been treated to platitudes and non-answers about the state of the A’s home. Nothing ever seemed to get done at fault of both the A’s and of factors outside of their control, and while the team has undoubtedly put lots of time and money into their stadium search, nothing substantive was accomplished. Worse, little energy has been spent making the Coliseum more palatable for fans, even if the Coliseum is low-key awesome (we’ll get to that later).
With the entrance of Dave Kaval, MVP of the A’s offseason, we’ve finally got some movement both inside the Coliseum and out. Joe Stiglich has more! Let’s dive in.
The possible options, and the importance of BART
The A’s are currently parsing through four possible locations (Coliseum site, Howard Terminal, Laney College, and Brooklyn Basin), researching transport and environmental issues for each.
The A’s are placing high importance on proximity to Bart. Says Kaval,
“I think if you’re in a certain range of a BART station, it doesn’t matter if it’s one block or two blocks,” he said. “But if you start getting a little farther, it does change people’s willingness to actually take that public transportation to the venue.”
Turns out finding a location for and building a stadium that holds 50,000 or so people isn’t a simple task. The good news is, the A’s are finally making headway and are doing their due diligence. The bad news is, we’re a ways away from knowing where the A’s new home will be, and even further from actually moving there.
The Coliseum receives a makeover!
Makeover is probably a bit of a generous term. If the Coliseum were a person, what’s happening now is the equivalent of a pedicure, maybe a tummy tuck. The whole situation is still problematic, but the effort makes a difference and there are people out there who are into feet. This analogy has gone haywire.
Anyway, the West Side Club is no more, rebirthed as Shibe Park Tavern in homage to the A’s original home in Philadelphia. The new tavern even features materials from the original Shibe Park, a nice touch to improve what previously was a three star facility, per Yelp. Three stars on Yelp is the online-review equivalent of Eric Sogard - it’ll do, but you should get excited about the potential upgrade.
If you think that’s exciting, get a load of “Champions Pavilion”, an area situated between the Coliseum and Oracle Arena full of food trucks and video monitors for ticketed guests to grab a bite and watch the game. With between 8-16 food trucks available at most home games, your options for food choices have exploded.
The A’s die hard fan base will show up through thick and thin. Attracting a more casual fan, especially when the team is projected to blargh is an important and difficult proposition. Upgrading food and drink and giving fans more options inside the Coliseum should upgrade the fan experience substantially. The goodwill it’ll build among the numerous fans who have felt frustrated is an added bonus.
We are off to an auspicious start in the David Kaval era.
Some love for the Coliseum
Every time I go to the Coliseum, I'm blown away by how many people comment on the less than stellar nature of the A's home. Sure, it's a lot of concrete; apparently people are uncomfortable being surrounded by one of the strongest materials while sitting basically on a fault line. I get it. In spite of the unsightly nature of the home of the Green and Gold, it will always be my favorite place to catch a baseball game.
It’s (usually) the most intimate experience in baseball
The best story in the sport right now is Adam Lind and fartgate.
Did he fart smoke? @Mariners @ROOTSPORTS_NW #farts #adamlind pic.twitter.com/uVwSHq75Ae— hilariousmutt (@usmctanker1812) September 20, 2016
If this happened at the Coliseum, there’d be no debate. When the Coliseum is empty, and it usually is, it’s about an intimate experience as you can get in MLB. You can hear players yelling, the crack of the bat on the ball, the ball in the glove, and dammit if Adam Lind farted you’d here that too.
That environment is conducive for some of the closest fan/player interactions in the game. There are many great fans around the league and there’s no shortage of great traditions. But the best relationship between players and fans is undoubtedly the undying bond between the Bleacher Creatures and whoever is manning the outfield in the Coliseum.
The A's are in the Bay Area which is sometimes, occasionally, slightly expensive. There's almost nothing you can do on the cheap, and sporting events often cost an arm and a leg.
The A's, regardless of how good they are, offer affordable games. Some tickets can get pricey, but even when the A’s are a playoff team, there are tickets to be had. I actually became an A’s fans because I liked baseball and also not being completely broke.
It's not sponsored
Is there anything more perfect than the Coliseum being unaffiliated? It used to supported by Overstock, but not even shitty Amazon wants a piece of that.
Those of you that are particularly perceptive might sense a touch of bias. It's true, I like the A's. I like most things about the A's and that includes the concrete jungle. It’s our concrete jungle, it’s poised to get an exciting facelift, and it houses our team. Can’t wait to get back there!