NOTE: Allegiant Stadium, the Raider’s new home in Las Vegas, wasn’t open to the general public for the 2020 season. Once it opens to full capacity, I intend to make a visit and offer a review. Until then, to ensure all teams have representation, I still include this review of the Oakland Coliseum. Hopefully, COVID goes away and I’ll be able to update this soon.
STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #30
- Location: Oakland, CA
- Opened: 1966; Retired: 2019
- Capacity: 56,057
- Football weather misery index: 24.5 (3rd best of 23 outdoor venues)
- Games attended: 1 football (almost 20 baseball)
- Last visited: 2019
I finally mustered up the courage to see a game in the Black Hole before the team moved to Vegas. This truly was (and likely still is) the scariest fan base in sports. It was like looking into a dystopian future: a drunken brigade of hairy, menacing, intimidating belligerents wearing skulls and spikes. And that’s just the women.
A shifty cast of characters greeted you on the walk from the BART with shopping cart bacon dogs and cold beer for sale. The tailgate scene in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot was aggressive. The stadium itself was a relatively charmless concrete multi-purpose circular bowl with incredibly cramped concessions, not nearly enough washrooms and a Soviet design ethos. To also accommodate baseball, sightlines were compromised and the infield dirt was in play. The only thing “nice” was the weather, which is normally so.
And yet in an age where everything is so pristine and polished, it was a thrilling change of pace. Like bungee jumping, Oakland Raider games were exhilarating experiences. The Vegas stadium will likely be nicer (it’d be hard to not be), but it can only hope to match the Mad Max vibe of a game here.