Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Ugly Stadiums and the Football Fans Who Love Them

As I write this (for posting on Tuesday), I'm watching a bit of the Monday Night Football game, and I'm struck by two things about football in Oakland. First, the Raiders are probably the most amazing example of a football team's cumulative age finally catching up to it in NFL history; and second, the Oakland stadium is one of the dumbest looking football stadiums in existence. To get the full effect you have to look at the aerial shots. Formerly called the Oakland Coliseum (renamed Network Associates Coliseum), it houses the A's and the Raiders, as it did back before 1983 or so before the Raiders went to Los Angeles for ten years or so. But when the Raiders returned to Oakland, it was with the insistence by owner Al Davis that the stadium's capacity be increased for football from its original seating for 45,000 (very low by NFL standards). So, they took the roughly circular stadium with former low-sitting bleachers in the baseball outfield and basically removed the bleachers and erected a giant three-tier seating area that basically makes the whole stadium look like a half-assed cross of two entirely different stadiums. Ugh.

(And the Raiders have just lost, failing to make the end zone to tie the game as time expired by a single yard. Wow.)

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