RingCentral Coliseum is entering its last stretch of home games for the Oakland Raiders, meaning its time as a multipurpose NFL-MLB facility is almost over.
First opening in 1966, RingCentral Coliseum–best known to many as the Oakland Coliseum–opened as a reflection of its era by being constructed to accommodate NFL and MLB franchises. The Raiders began play there the year it opened, before the A’s relocated from Kansas City prior to the 1968 MLB season.
Save for the period when the Raiders played in Los Angeles from 1982-1994, the Coliseum has been a shared NFL-MLB facility for most of its history. The Raiders, however, are on track to move after this season, as construction on Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium continues in anticipation of a summer 2020 opening.
That leaves the Raiders with four remaining regular-season home games at the Coliseum, including Thursday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Chargers. With time winding down, the fact that the Coliseum is the last multipurpose NFL-MLB venue is receiving attention, as that once-common arrangement gradually disappeared over the last few decades as teams in both leagues drifted toward the standalone facility model. Moving over to being a full-time MLB home will mean the end of some challenging steps needed to make the Coliseum a multipurpose stadium, including the process of converting the playing field between football and baseball. More from SFGate:
This arrangement meant specific challenges for [A’s head groundskeeper Clay] Wood, who, it could be said, held the toughest groundskeeper job in sports.
“We played baseball here Sunday afternoon — the game finished at 3:30 or whatever — and then we played a football game here Monday night,” Wood told SFGATE in an interview in September. “Fans come to the game Monday night — they have no idea what happened in the last 24 hours to make that possible. You go from a baseball game ending at 3:30 to the cheerleaders on the field at 1:30. It’s a tremendous amount of work by a tremendous amount of people that people would just have no clue what happened.”
The Coliseum will remain home to the A’s in the immediate future, though the team is currently working on an exit plan of its own. That concept involves the construction of a new ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, while the team oversees a redevelopment of the Coliseum property. Whether that proposal moves forward remains to be seen, but the A’s are hoping to open a new ballpark by 2023.
As for the Raiders, their final season in Oakland will see the team play seven of eight scheduled home games in RingCentral Coliseum. The Raiders played as the home team in a game last month at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
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