The Oakland Athletics were founded in 1901 when they were located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and played their games in tiny Columbia Park. After a relatively brief stint in Kansas City from 1955-67, the A's moved to their current home in Oakland, California, where they began play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The venue is shared by the A's and the Oakland Raiders of the NFL and features variable seating arrangements, but when it's set up for baseball, it usually holds just over 34,000 fans. In 2011, the naming rights to the stadium were purchased by Overstock.com, which shortened the name to O.co Coliseum.
The Coliseum is part of a larger complex located near the Oracle Arena, where the NBA's Golden State Warriors play, and next to the freeway. This location makes it very easy for fans to get in and out of the area on game days. The ballpark is also connected to the Bay Area Regional Transit (BART) light rail system, allowing people to travel with ease from downtown Oakland.
In 2006, the A's found a way to get around the cavernous nature of the ballpark by closing off the third deck of the Coliseum. This allowed fans to get much closer to the action and actually helped to improve the home field advantage. O.co Coliseum's expansive parking lots have also made it a popular spot for tailgating with thousands of fans grilling, playing catch and enjoying the California sun in the lead up to the first pitch.
In recent years, the A's have begun exploring options to build their own ballpark that will allow them to create a baseball-exclusive venue. The new building, dubbed Cisco Field, is far from a done deal but will be built in downtown San Jose to follow the recent trend of urban ballparks.
Until that happens, A's fans can enjoy reflecting on the many historical moments that have taken place in the Coliseum over the years. The venue was home to MLB greats like Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Walt Weiss. Hopefully, the A's will get one more World Series championship in the grand old park before the team moves to its new state-of-the-art venue in the near future.