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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oakland Coliseum Arena and Oakland Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA

Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (1966); HNTB (1996).
Construction: Guy F. Atkinson Company (1966); Tutor-Saliba (1996)
Owner: City of Oakland and Alameda County.
Cost: $25.5 million (1966); $200 million (1996 renovations).

The Oracle Arena is also known by its former names.
It was originally constructed as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena in 1966 and remained named that until 1996.
It was renamed the Oakland Arena 2004-2006, then The Arena In Oakland 1997-2004.

It is known locally as Oakland Coliseum Arena.

The arena celebrated its grand opening on November 9, 1966 when the Oakland Seals met the San Diego Gulls for an NHL game. 

Over the years, the arena became increasingly outdated, lacking the luxuries of newer ones. With just over 15,000 seats, it was one of the smallest arenas in the league. Rather than building a new arena in Oakland, the decision was made to proceed with a $121 million renovation that involved tearing down much of the old arena's interior and building new seating within the older confines. The original arena's external walls, roof and foundation remained intact. The renovation began in mid-1996 and was completed in time for the Golden State Warriors to return in the fall of 1997. Included in the renovation was a new LED centerhung scoreboard and 360-degree fascia display from Daktronics out of Brookings, South Dakota.[4]
The new arena seats 20,000 for concerts, 19,596 for basketball and 17,000 for ice hockey.  Too bad there's no NHL team that uses it!

Oakland Coliseum
Capacity 48219

In 1960, local real estate developer Robert T. Nahas headed this group (which included other prominent East Bay business leaders such as former US Senator William Knowland and Edgar F. Kaiser), which later became the governing board of the Coliseum upon completion. It was Nahas' idea that the Coliseum be privately financed with ownership transferring to the city and county upon retirement of the construction financing.[6]
Robert T. Nahas
Robert T. Nahas served twenty years as President of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Board. On the death of Nahas. The San Francisco Chronicle's Rick DelVecchio quoted Jack Maltester, a former San Leandro mayor and Coliseum board member, "If not for Bob Nahas, there would be no Coliseum, It's really that simple." Nahas had to be a diplomat dealing with the egos of Al Davis, Charles O. Finley and Franklin Mueli.
Preliminary architectural plans were unveiled in November 1960, and the following month a site was chosen west of the Elmhurst district of East Oakland alongside the then-recently completed Nimitz Freeway. A downtown site adjacent to Lake Merritt and the Oakland Auditorium (which itself, many years later, would be renamed the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center) was also originally considered.[4] The Port of Oakland played a key role in the East Oakland site selection; The Port swapped 157 acres (64 ha) at the head of San Leandro Bay to the East Bay Regional Park District, in exchange for 105 acres (42 ha) of park land across the freeway, which the Port in turn donated to the City of Oakland as the site for the Coliseum sports complex.[11]

The first crowd filled the Coliseum (previously known as McAfee Coliseum and Network Associates Coliseum) on September 18, 1966 when the AFL’s Oakland Raiders played the Kansas City Chiefs.

Charlie Finley, owner of the Kansas City A's, unhappy in Kansas City, impressed by Oakland's new stadium and personally convinced to consider Oakland by Nahas,[8] eventually got permission after several unsuccessful attempts and amid considerable controversy, to relocate his American League franchise to the stadium for the 1968 season. The Athletics' first game was played on April 17, 1968.
When Boog Powell hit the first major league home run in the history of the Coliseum.[9] On May 8 of that year, Catfish Hunter pitched the ninth perfect game in Major League history at the Coliseum.[10]
Charlie Finley and his trophies.

Al Davis and his trophies.
In the following 32 years, the Oakland Alameda County Arena and Coliseum Complex has hosted a spectrum of events in both the sporting and entertainment industries including concerts, circus, boxing, rodeos, religious speakers and ice shows. Audiences numbering nearly 100 million have made Coliseum and Oracle Arena the premier entertainment facilities in Northern California.

In October 1995, Coliseum began an extensive renovation. The $120 million project included the addition of 22,000 new seats, 90 luxury suites, two private clubs and two state-of-the-art scoreboards. It has a variable seating capacity of 35,067 for baseball, 63,026 for football, and either 47,416 or 63,026 for soccer, (depending on configuration).

It is currently home to the Oakland Athletics, of MLB, and the Oakland Raiders, of the NFL. As of September 28, 2011, the Coliseum is the last multi-purpose stadium to serve as a full-time home to both an MLB team and an NFL team.

The Coliseum features an underground design where the playing surface is actually below ground level (21 feet / 6 meters below sea level). Consequently fans entering the stadium find themselves walking on to the main concourse of the stadium at the top of the first level of seats. This, combined with the hill that was built around the stadium to create the upper concourse, means that only the third deck is visible from outside the park. This gives the Coliseum the illusion of being a short stadium from the outside.

The newly renovated Coliseum and Oracle Arena sit on 132 acres with an ample 10,000 on-site parking spaces.

Jerry performed at the Arena on
2/17/79 Grateful Dead (Keith and Donna's last show) (Benefit for Economic xxx Task Force)
1/13/80 Grateful Dead (Cambodian Refugee Benefit))
12/30/85 Grateful Dead
12/31/85 Grateful Dead
12/15/86 Grateful Dead
12/16/86 Grateful Dead
12/17/86 Grateful Dead
7/24/87 Grateful Dead with Bob Dylan
12/27/87 Grateful Dead
12/28/87 Grateful Dead
12/30/87 Grateful Dead
12/31/87 Grateful Dead
12/4/88 Bob Weir Rob Wasserman
12/28/88 Grateful Dead
12/29/88 Grateful Dead
12/31/88 Grateful Dead
12/6/89 Grateful Dead
12/27/89 Grateful Dead
12/28/89 Grateful Dead
12/30/89 Grateful Dead
12/31/89 Grateful Dead
2/25/90 Grateful Dead
2/26/90 Grateful Dead
2/27/90 Grateful Dead
6/30/90 Bob Weir Mickey Hart
12/3/90 Grateful Dead
12/4/90 Grateful Dead
12/27/90 Grateful Dead
12/28/90 Grateful Dead
12/30/90 Grateful Dead
12/31/90 Grateful Dead
2/19/91 Grateful Dead
2/20/91 Grateful Dead
2/21/91 Grateful Dead
10/27/91 Grateful Dead
10/28/91 Grateful Dead
10/30/91 Grateful Dead
10/31/91 Grateful Dead
2/22/92 Grateful Dead
2/23/92 Grateful Dead
2/24/92 Grateful Dead
10/31/92 Jerry Garcia Band
12/11/92 Grateful Dead
12/12/92 Grateful Dead
12/13/92 Grateful Dead
12/16/92 Grateful Dead
12/17/92 Grateful Dead
1/24/93 Grateful Dead
1/25/93 Grateful Dead
1/26/93 Grateful Dead
2/21/93 Grateful Dead
2/22/93 Grateful Dead
2/23/93 Grateful Dead and Ornette Coleman and Prime Time
12/17/93 Grateful Dead
12/18/93 Grateful Dead
12/19/93 Grateful Dead
2/25/94 Grateful Dead
2/26/94 Grateful Dead
2/27/94 Grateful Dead
12/8/94 Grateful Dead
12/9/94 Grateful Dead
12/11/94 Grateful Dead
12/12/94 Grateful Dead
2/24/95 Grateful Dead
2/25/95 Grateful Dead
2/26/95 Grateful Dead

Jerry performed at the outdoor Coliseum on
6/8/74 Grateful Dead (Day On The Green)
10/9/76 Grateful Dead (Day On The Green)
10/10/76 Grateful Dead (Day On The Green)
7/24/87 Grateful Dead with Bob Dylan
5/27/89 Fogerty, Weir, Jackson, Jordan

4.)^Oakland Tribune, November 3, 1960, front page
6.)^Oakland Tribune, January 27, 1963, pg. 39E
7.)^Oakland Tribune, April 3, 1964, page E49
8.)^ Robert Nahas obituary, San Francisco Chronicle, February 26, 2002.
9.)^Home Run Baptism of New Parks,
10.)^Twins-Athletics box score, 1968-05-08,
11.)^Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew, 2011-05-12, New name in Oakland sports: Coliseum,


    1. This is a fascinating post. Where did you get the info about the trade of land from EBRPD to the Port Of Oakland--I'd love to figure out which park it now is.

      Don't forget June 8 '74 for the Grateful Dead. Also, I think Jerry attended a Phil Collins show at the Arena some time in the 90s, with his daughter.

    2. Oh good - the above comment put in the June 8, 74 one.

      1. June 8, 74 - Was called 'Day on the Green' - Commander Cody, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Beach Boys, Dead - poster can be seen at:

    3. YAY the Pulpit! Home again! Holy of Holies. Wow.

      1. It's called the Oracle arena? Oh my God how did I miss that? Was it on a sign and I missed that? Why did we never call it the Oracle? It FOR SURE is. I feel like an idiot. Learning something new nearly every sentence in this blog.

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