History of the Oakland Coliseum Since 1966

By Steven Luker

Let’s get started to talk about the history of the Oakland Coliseum and what is going on with it and why are the Oakland Athletics moving out of it.

History of the Oakland Coliseum:

The history of the Oakland Coliseum is before it was a thing. There were sports teams playing in Oakland there were no major sports at the time but there was a team called the Oakland Oaks who played in Oakland from 1903-1955 but they left in 1955 to Vancouver. But they think in order to get a major team they need to build a real stadium to get people into it.

In the year 1960 there was a plan in downtown on the park site of Peralta Park. But let’s move to December 1960 they finally found a spot next to the Nimitz Freeway (today I-880). 

This picture here is the Downtown stadium in 1960 design.

The site was largely vacant land, owned by PG & E, and East Bay Municipal Utility District. It had been marshy land, and had been filled in over the years, like much of Oakland’s land near the bay. This site was where the beginning marks are. So it was empty piece land with nothing there and they had no buildings or anything of any sort.

The Construction of the coliseum in 1960

Let’s move on to the year 1964 during the prehistoric time period where the Coliseum was being the site of it was a swamp and it at the time a creek was ran by it and on August of 1964 there was a pair of mammoth tusks found on the site they were 28 feet deep professor (Dr. Savage) was called in from U.C. Berkeley, and he and his students also found the remains of a ground sloth. Dr. Savage proposed calling the sports complex the “Mammoth Coliseum.”

Engineer Karl Ogrey with the mammoth tusks, 1964

The first team that moved in the Oakland Coliseum was the Oakland Raiders in the year 1966 making the Raiders the first person to call the Oakland Coliseum. There was a rumor in 1965 that there was a baseball team moving there and it was reported that the Cleveland Indians. But the Indians decided to just stay in Cleveland.

Then the owner of the Kansas City Athletics Charlie Finley was super upset with the city of Kansas City so they decided to move out of Kansas city in the year 1968 one year after the Raiders finished there second season in the coliseum. The Coliseum opened on September 18, 1966 it cost around 25.5 million back then and for today it would be a lot more.

Special events at the Oakland Coliseum

Some of the special events the Oakland Coliseum had was the 1987 Major League Baseball All star game. In the year 1973 Day on the Green concert series, presented by Bill Graham. Another event was singer Marvin Gaye performing in 1974.

Another Led Zeppelin played what turned out to be their final North American concerts with twin shows during their 1977 North American Tour. The next event that happened in the Oakland Coliseum was Parliament-Funkadelic, also performed in the year 1977.

The next concert that was done was in the year 1988 with. The show was headlined by Sting and Peter Gabriel and also featured Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Tracy Chapman, Youssou N’Dour, Roy Orbison and Joan Baez. So there was a 11 year difference of events that happened.

Another event that happened in the year 1992 was Metallica and Guns N’ Roses performing and the opening act was Body Count. The next concert was in 1997 U2 performed there with Oasis helping one time to open. The next event that performed was in 2006 with Megadeth, Lamb of God, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Overkill, Into Eternity, Sanctity and The SmashUp.

So this was a metal concert that was performed. U2 is the only band to perform there twice; the second time they had Lenny Kravitz and Moonalice. In 2017 Green Day performed at the Coliseum. The next event was for 2018,2019 and it was Rolling Loud and it was headlined by Future, G-Eazy, Migos, and Lil Uzi Vert. The last concert was On October 1, 2021 and October 2, 2021, by regional Mexican giant Los Bukis. So this was the last concert as of today.

Reverse boycott

The Reverse Boycott happened recently at the Coliseum with A’s fans chanting to sell the team George Fisher. This came out after a cry the fans didn’t like the move to Las Vegas. The match up during this event was the best team in baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays.

On Monday June 12th they had 4848 fans in attendance. The game of the Reverse Boycott there was over 27,759 more than triple or so attendance compared to day 1 of the series. This has been the highlight of the amount of fans they have the past few seasons they had the worst attendance in baseball history in the past few years.

This game was also vs. the Rays fans had signs ranging from Sell the Team Make Fisher pay relocation and Oakland Deserves better. The honest question was where were all these fans the past two seasons and why are they coming out now. Well the answer is a lot of the owners didn’t like George Fisher. So this is why we saw the Reverse Boycott and people want the Oakland A’s to stay in Oakland and not move to Las Vegas.

As of 5:13PM PST on 6/14/2023 Bob Nightengale reported on Twitter that the Nevada State Assembly now Passes the bill to have the Oakland A’s relocate to Las Vegas.

Oakland Coliseum

https://courses.ischool.berkeley.edu/i290-2/f98/oaklandkids/sites/coliseum/colbefore.html

http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2015/08/october-9-10-1976-oakland-coliseum.html

https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects/2021/athletics-coliseum-history/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_Coliseum

https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/14/sport/oakland-athletics-fans-stage-reverse-boycott-spt-intl/index.html

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