Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is a sports stadium in Oakland, California used for baseball, football and soccer events. The stadium is commonly referred to the Oakland Coliseum or The Coliseum, and was formerly known by three different names the Network Associates Coliseum from 1998-2004, the McAfee Coliseum from 2004-2008 and by its current name, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Coliseum is currently home of three professional sports teams, the Oakland A's baseball team, the Oakland Raiders football team and the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team.
Groundbreaking of the coliseum began in 1962, and the venue was first opened to the public on September 18th, 1966. The coliseum is owned by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, City of Oakland and Alameda County. Oakland-Alameda Coliseum was designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, HTNB, and cost an estimated $25.5 million. During renovations, an additional $200 million was spent in 1996. The surface of the coliseum is Bluegrass, and the total seating capacity is 35,067 for baseball, 63,026 for football and 47,416 for soccer.
The 120-acre outdoor stadium features an underground design, which means the actual playing surface is located underground. Fans walking along the stadium find themselves walking on the main concourse, located at the top first level of seats. These two features combined together, gives the stadium a short appearance from outside observation, with only the third deck being visible on the outside of the park.
The Coliseum has the largest foul territory of any major league baseball park. Many of the balls that may reach seats in other ball parks are usually caught in the stands of the coliseum. Dimensions of the field are as follows; left field 330 feet, left center field has three dimensions which create a power alley, center field 400 feet, right center field has three dimensions which create a power ally as well, right field 330 feet, and the backstop is 60 feet.
Over the years there have been many prestigious events and entertainment venues held at the coliseum. In the 1970's, there were presentations by Billy Graham, and a series of "Days on the Green'' concerts which showcased such entertainers as Marvin Gaye, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Pink Floyd. On December 30th and 31st, 1981, HBO filmed the Earth, Wind & Fire concert series at the park. During the 1990's, the Coliseum was the site for shows by Madonna, Depeche Mode, U2, Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones.
The Oakland-Alameda Coliseum has the distinction of being one of the last multipurpose theaters in the United States that hosts both a baseball and football team. Because of minimal extensive renovations being done over the years, the Coliseum still retains much of the charm and appeal of parks of the past. With ample parking, luxury boxes and many more amenities, visitors to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum have totaled well over 100 million, which makes it the top choice of premier entertainment locations in Northern California.