It has not been a great few years for hygiene at the stadia of the American League West. Earlier this year, a Houston Astros vendor pooped next to his snowcones. Before that, rats scurried all over Angel Stadium. (And, oh god, let us not forget the bees. So many bees.) And now a scourge has hit poor, unloved O.co Coliseum in Oakland.
The Mariners and Athletics wound up using the same locker room—the Raiders'—after yesterday's game. Why? Here's the Associated Press:
The pipes backed up on the lower levels of the stadium during Oakland's 10-2 victory, creating a stink and pools of water in the clubhouses used by both teams and the umpires. ...
Coliseum officials said the six-day homestand, which drew 171,756 fans, overtaxed the plumbing system at the 47-year-old stadium.
Several Mariners left without showering. Towels were used to block sewage from running into the players' general dressing area.
(Suddenly we remember why it is essential that sportswriters have locker-room access.)
But while the A's and related parties are undoubtedly annoyed by the stink filling their clubhouse and related spaces, anger isn't all they're feeling: The fetid mess makes a better case for a new stadium than a brilliant public speaker ever could. About the team's need for better digs, the A's president told the San Francisco Chronicle, “It’s clear, right? This isn’t the first time this has happened.”
But Cisco Field, the Athletics' proposed publicly financed new home in San Jose, will not open until 2017 at the earliest—if it gets built at all, which it probably won't. All of which is to say that the team'll have to turn sewage-flooded clubhouses into a market inefficiency. And, judging from the words of reliever Sean Doolittle, they're well on their way!
After I checked out the new swimming pool in our locker room I got to see the Raiders clubhouse! Pretty cool! #CommitmentToExcellence
— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) June 17, 2013