Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum opened in 1966 after almost six years of planning by the City of Oakland and league officials with the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB). The venue was home to the Oakland Raiders from 1966 through the 1981 season. Baseball, however, would not be played in the coliseum until opening day, Wednesday, April 17, 1968, when the newly moved from Kansas City in the dead of night A’s lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 4-1 in front of an opening night crowd of 50,164.
The stadium is one of the oldest in the league and for many years in the late 1970s, fell into disrepair due to lagging revenue. During the 1979 baseball season, it was dubbed the “Oakland Mausoleum” when on two occasions the A’s failed to draw over 1,000 fans for games against the Seattle Mariners. It would not undergo major renovations until the mid-1990s when the Raiders, after moving to Los Angeles following the 1981 season, negotiated a return to the coliseum if it underwent a major renovation.
Raider owner Al Davis, in a controversial move, leveraged over $220 million in public bonds to finance the work, something that remains stuck in the craw of Oakland taxpayers to this day. Local architectural firm HNTB was hired to carry off the design-build of the renovations.
In recent years the stadium has come under fire again as being one of the worst facilities in baseball. A 2011 Bleacher Report named it the 5th worst stadium in the Majors, largely due to its expansive foul ball territory. Six years later the New York Times dubbed the coliseum a “bland, charmless monstrosity that isn’t worthy of preservation, perhaps America’s most-hated sports stadium.”
Sports columnist Jack Nicas disagreed, saying the coliseum had “grit” and was a fun place to watch baseball, comparing the venue to Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field, both of which are decades older than the Coliseum.
The Coliseum survives to this day and now goes by the name Ring Central Coliseum. Not for long, however, as the A’s in 2018 announced plans to build a new, 34,000-seat ballpark near the Port of Oakland. The old coliseum would be re-purposed into a low-rise sports park.
This Chrome style postcard was published by Kolor View Press of Los Angeles, CA. The game on the field looks to be between the A’s and the Baltimore Orioles. An A’s runner is on second base and a pitching change seems to be under way.