Originally named the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, the stadium was constructed deep in the ground, allowing fans to enter the stadium on the upper level and walk down to the field level seats. Completed in four years the Raiders played their first game at the 45,0000 seat coliseum on September 18, 1966. Designed to be multipurpose, the Raiders were the sole tenant of the coliseum for two years. Following the 1967 baseball season, the Kansas City A’s moved to Oakland joining the Raiders as tenants of the coliseum. The Oakland Coliseum was built more for baseball than football. Many of the 45,000 seats were in three tiers from the right field foul pole and circling around to the left field foul pole. Bleachers were beyond the outfield wall. The Oakland Coliseum was converted two ways from baseball to football after the A’s moved into the stadium. The MLB season overlapped the first couple of weeks of the NFL season. During this time, the NFL gridiron was located between home plate and centerfield, making the conversion process simpler. Once the baseball season was over, the gridiron was located along the first and third base areas, with bleachers placed in the outfield.
For 15 seasons the Raiders played at the Oakland Coliseum. In the late 1970s Raiders owner Al Davis wanted the city to renovate the coliseum to add more luxury seats to generate additional revenue. The city balked at this plan and Davis moved the team south to the Los Angeles Coliseum after the 1981 season. Davis incurred the same issues in Los Angeles as he did in Oakland. The Los Angeles Coliseum lacked additional luxury seats, was in a bad neighborhood and the Raiders had to share the coliseum with the USC Trojans (NCAA). Davis wanted a new stadium built in Los Angeles but failed. In the late 1980s the Raiders began to negotiate with Oakland to move the team back if the Oakland Coliseum was expanded. It took over five years for the Raiders and the City of Oakland to reach an agreement to have the team return to the coliseum. A deal was struck in June 1995 and in November 1995, construction began on a $200 million project to expand the coliseum, adding 22,000 seats. All of the outfield bleachers were removed and replaced with a four tier grandstand that includes 125 luxury suites. After a 15 year hiatus, the Raiders returned to Oakland for the 1996 season.
Tenant: Oakland Athletics (MLB)