OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — KRON4 obtained a copy of a letter sent to the Oakland Coliseum by the Oakland Athletics on May 12 detailing a list of issues with their aging home ballpark. The letter was first acquired by The Oaklandside.
The letter was written by Vice President of Stadium Operations David Rinetti and was addressed to Executive Director of Coliseum Authority Support Henry Gardner. The problems included broken seats, the presence of cats and moths, people intruding into the ballpark, and more.
The A’s said that facility stagehands are forced to repair broken seats every game. Some seats can be fixed on the spot, but others are sometimes deemed out of commission for several games. The letter highlighted premium sections 116-118 behind home plate, where the team said the seats are bolted to a steel base that has “many areas of corrosion.”
In the letter, the team said the Coliseum has “continuous plumbing and water leakage issues.” While the entire complex is affected during rain season, the A’s pointed to the team’s clubhouse areas and batting cages as places where water leakage has occurred.
Problems such as plumbing back-ups and leaking pipes and sinks have caused customer service issues as food stands have been forced to close.
“When these issues happen, we contact the facility engineers to see what can be done,” Rinetti said in the letter. “Many times there is a dispute on who is actually responsible. When these issues happen, we usually have to shut down the food stand until fixed, causing customer service issues with our fans.”
Lack of security
The team reported an increase in intruders, including one person who has entered the facility at leas three times in the past few months. The man was arrested on May 10, the same day as an A’s home game against the Tigers.
Still, the team says he has done damage. Rinetti said he “basically helps himself to whatever is available on the property” and has stolen more than $1,000 of food and beverage items. The A’s requested 24/7 security to put a stop to the intrusions.
Press box windows
The team reported windows in the press box that do not slide open. Rinetti said he has been working with engineers to replace the mechanisms.
Despite the team investing almost $500,000 to upgrade its connectivity, problems persist. The letter said the Coliseum’s connectivity is subpar compared to other facilities.
“We recently reached out to AT&T to have them fix the 4G service to the stadium that has been substandard for years,” the letter said. “We are working with ASM staff to get this done currently.”
The A’s want to upgrade the look of the stadium’s exterior. Rinetti cited a berm outside Gates A and D that had visible dirt and weeds.
The team also mentioned a homeless encampment on Baldwin Street outside the Coliseum that it was working with the city to fix.
KRON4 reported before the season that the Coliseum has 30-40 feral cats living in it. Rinetti said the A’s are getting reports of cat feces throughout the stadium. In addition to the cats, moths are “everywhere” and gravitate towards light standards during night games.
Rinetti finished the letter by asking the Coliseum to provide a plan for capital expenditures for the stadium in 2022 and a list of expenditures for the past five years.
It has been a trying season for the A’s, who held the second-worst record in the American League (20-33) after blowing a late lead to the Houston Astros on Wednesday. The team frustrated fans by shipping out many of its top players before the season, including deals that sent third baseman Matt Chapman to Toronto and first baseman Matt Olson to Atlanta.
The A’s are drawing an average of 7,637 people to their games, by far the lowest total in MLB. They have received significant negative press for their empty stadium.
In an effort to keep the team in Oakland, the A’s are attempting to construct a new stadium at Howard Terminal. Relocation is also on the table, as KRON4 reported in 2021 that the team visited ballpark sites in Las Vegas.