December 27, 2021
The Oakland Coliseum diagrams have been revised, for the first time in over five years -- on July 6, 2016, to be exact. To be more proper, it is now formally called "RingCentral Coliseum," after a confusing series of negotiations and court hearings in 2019 and 2020.
So what the heck is "RingCentral"? One of these fancy-shmancy new high tech companies like America Online or Gateway Computers, apparently. According to www.RingCentral.com, "RingCentral provides businesses with different cloud-based business communications solutions that include message, video, phone, and contact center services..." It was founded in 1999 by two guys named Vlad. [UPDATE: See the Stadium names chronology page.]
Among the most notable changes to the diagrams (as opposed to the names), the circular portion of the grandstand is about eight feet shorter on both ends than it was when I rendered it in 2016, and the locations of the light towers and access ramps on the south (first base) and west (third base) sides are significantly different. (You can compare to new version to the previous version simply by clicking on that diagram and then moving your mouse away; however, that won't work for tablets and other devices with touch screens.) In a major enhancement of that page, there are now jumbo-sized diagrams showing the elliptical road that surrounds (or used to surround) the Coliseum, and the four main tunnel gates through which fans enter the original grandstand. There are also two new gates for the massive (but now defunct) "Mount Davis" grandstand that was built as an inducement for the Oakland Raiders to return home after 15 years in Los Angeles. A fat lot of good that did, as the Raiders packed up and left for Las Vegas after the 2019 season was over. Now the Athletics are forced to play in a stadium with an empty monstrosity looming over them in the outfield.
Other changes include new diagrams for the lower and middle decks -- actually, two middle-deck diagrams, one for 1968 and one for 1996, which is when (as far as I can tell) a second level of luxury suites was added in the second deck. There is also a 2019 diagram that shows the new table-top seating areas in the left and right field corners. The profiles of the bleacher sections are now shown in the 1960s diagrams, both in the baseball and football configurations. The upward slopes of the access ramps are now shown, and of course, the home and visiting team dugouts are now properly indicated, a practice I began a few weeks ago.
I didn't bother to update the two "hypothetical" diagrams (one for baseball only, one for football only), since there is now little or no prospect that the Coliseum will remain in use five years from now. [I was previously aware of the legendary awful plumbing facilities, made infamous when the players had to endure sewage backup in the showers, but I didn't fully understand why that happened. It turns out the playing field at the Coliseum is a few feet below sea level! That plus numerous other inadequacies make the original portion of the grandstand pretty much obsolete, and not worth saving.] Something's gotta give. Personally, I think they should forget about the downtown Oakland waterfront site and simply build a whole new stadium on the current site. I'm sure the Giants would be glad to rent out Oracle Park to the Athletics for a couple years while construction is completed... Right?
During the holiday break I've been hard at work on revising Yankee Stadium and the other long-overdue diagrams (Forbes Field and Griffith Stadium), but ran into a stumbling block, so I decided to release this one first. When the New Year rolls around, I plan on instituting some changes to the functionality of my baseball pages, and registering your name and e-mail account (possibly subject to verification) would be advisable. Donations to this website are most appreciated.
The University of Virginia Cavaliers were going to play in the inaugural Fenway Bowl this Wednesday, but several of their players tested positive for covid-19, so they had to withdraw, forcing the big event to be cancelled. I saw an aerial view on TV of Fenway Park with the football gridiron all set up, which makes me wonder how much money and effort was wasted on that. Also canceled: the Military Bowl (in Annapolis) and the Arizona Bowl (in Tucson). I thought I heard something about Pinstripe Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Maryland in Yankee Stadium), but apparently it is still on. In addition, covid protocols forced Texas A&M to withdraw from the Gator Bowl, which is actually of some significance, and since "the show must go on" they had to find a replacement opponent to go against Wake Forest: Rutgers!