Construction delays on Oakland Coliseum, undergoing expansion for the benefit of the Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland Raiders, forced the Athletics to play their first six "home" games in 1996 here at Cashman Field, a minor league ballpark. It was the first such "neutral" venue to be used in Major League Baseball since 1969, when the White Sox played some of their home games at Milwaukee County Stadium. With one (mostly) uncovered deck, it bears the most structural resemblance to Colt Stadium and Jarry Park. The playing field is shaped like a simple rounded square, with a deep center field, rather like Aloha Stadium.
Cashman Field is unique in being attached to a shopping mall / convention center, called "Cashman Center." The ambience is degraded, however, by its location on the seedy south side of Las Vegas. Sinners beware! For the past several years, Cashman Field has hosted at least one Major League Baseball spring training game. With plenty of standing room on the grass slopes behind the foul corners, some of the MLB exhibition games has exceeded 15,000. Three or so rows of box seats were added behind home plate some time in the last few years. Satellite photos reveal a blue area in foul territory beyond third base, which may be a pool or just tarpaulin. A study in 2003 by Major League Baseball found that Cashman Field was inadequate in almost every respect, especially the undersized locker rooms and poor quality turf. This finding undermined hopes that Las Vegas might become the next home of the Montreal Expos, who ended up in Washington. It also gave ammunition to the owners of the Las Vegas AAA club, who want the city or state to help pay for a brand new ballpark, even though this one is only 23 years old.
FAN TIPS: Bruce Orser