For years, people have been figuring out how to either attract fans in Oakland — remember, they closed off the upper deck this year, and few complained — or how to get the heck out of there. Well, it seems like they might have finally figured out how to bolt the Coliseum: Head to Fremont!
We are not as familiar with the Bay Area and Northern California as we should be, so we're gonna hand it off to a reader to describe Fremont for us.
As a former Oakland resident, this makes me very sad. Yes, the Oakland Coliseum is kind of a pit, and is perched in the vaguely Mad Max-esque industrial wasteland out by the airport, but at least Oakland is a real place with a real identity. Fremont is essentially five separate towns that were amalgamated into one municipality in the 50s; it's endless soulless exurban sprawl-a-rama, and the ONLY thing it has going for it is that its the one corner of Silicon Valley that isn't in Santa Clara or San Mateo counties (which MLB has handed over to the Giants as their fiefdom).
Uh ... ugh. Though we like the idea of the "Silicon Valley A's." What does Athletics Nation have to say about this?
This can wind up being a Pirates situation where the new ballpark doesn't do much for the team in terms of attendance OR as I think it will probably go, a new ballpark is a drawing card for Californians. Californians are a different breed. While many of us here on AN live and die with every single move our A's make, the majority of those who follow baseball casually in the Bay Area probably don't realize Macha has been fired and Ron Washington is now the manager of a rival team. In order to fill a stadium regularly, you need to get those people there. And I'm sorry, but the Coliseum was woefully inadequate on nights when it was full. I remember going to the ALCS game and not being able to move in the walkways just to go get a freaking soda. It would take 20 minutes to a half an hour just to get to the front of a line and order a Mountain Dew.
Wait ... Ken Macha was fired?