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Posted: Tuesday September 12, 2006 10:20AM; Updated: Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:19PM
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Oakland Athletics
McAfee Coliseum
Oakland, Calif. :: Opened: 1968 :: Capacity: 34,077
Average Ticket Price: $22.10
Average Cost of Concessions and Souvenirs: $82.00
How expensive is stadium parking?
• FREE: 4%
• $5-$10: 12%
• $10-$15: 71%
• $15-$20: 13%
• More than $20: 1%

Is public transportation a viable option?
• Never: 1%
• Worth it if you have a lot of time and patience: 9%
• A good option to avoid rush hour: 33%
• Pretty easy if you know the system well: 36%
• The only way to go: 23%

How would you rate traffic getting to and from the game?
To the game:
• A slow-moving parking lot: 4%
• Slow, but usually steady: 20%
• Moves well outside of rush hour: 37%
• Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 32%
• A smooth ride at all times: 7%

From the game:
• A slow-moving parking lot: 11%
• Slow, but usually steady: 32%
• Moves well outside of rush hour: 18%
• Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 31%
• A smooth ride at all times: 7%

How would you rate the number of restrooms for men and women?
• Bring a map: 1%
• It depends on the section: 14%
• Never more than a short walk away: 30%
• A satisfactory amount: 30%
• Plenty: 15%

How long is the wait to use a bathroom?
• Always available: 50%
• 1-5 minutes: 46%
• 5-10 minutes: 1%
• More than 10 minutes: 2%

How would you rate the variety of food/beer concession options?
• Limp hot dogs, bland peanuts, even blander beer: 7%
• Nothing fancy, but the staple foods are tasty: 12%
• A little variety of food and drinks available at specific locations: 28%
• A nice variety but locations are spread out: 40%
• You name it, they have it around almost every corner: 10%

How much will a meal at the ballpark cost you?
• $5-$10: 20%
• $10-$20: 67%
• $20-$30: 9%
• $30-$40: 1%
• More than $40: 1%

How would you rate the entertainment options aside from the game?
• Nonexistent: 17%
• So many games/promotions and scoreboard highlights that the game is lost in the background: 0%
• Typical mascot antics/scoreboard quizzes and fun music: 47%
• Some unique promotions/antics, but it sometimes distracts from the game: 9%
• A nice balance that draws your attention when the game is stopped but doesn't distract from the action on the field: 25%
"The coliseum is a desolate hole of a stadium and consequently it feels extremely empty. Many food vendors are closed on weekdays and the whole thing has a depressing post-nuclear vibe that kind of makes you wish the game would end sooner." Ohhh-kay. Luckily for the Athletics, not everyone feels that way, but the round field and concrete structure don't make for an intimate affair. Particularly disappointing are the concrete football bleachers erected in center field known as Mount Davis. "You used to have a clear view of the Hills in the background and the ivy in CF. Now all there is is the concrete eyesore." While that doesn't always make for a comfortable day at the park, it does make for a passionate crowd. "Oakland fans aren't known for being aristocrats." On the plus side, "the park is great when there's a compelling game," and ballpark food is "cheap" and interesting (barbecue, cheesesteaks, meatball sandwiches).
"There are some aging tracks below a walkway to the BART commuter train -- that's pretty much the highlight of the neighborhood." A few fast-food places are nearby, but you probably shouldn't "go into the neighborhood if you value your safety." A better option would be taking the BART or making a short drive to downtown Oakland or over to San Francisco.
2006 record: 82-60 (all statistics through Sept. 10)
Players worth the price of admission: Frank Thomas (.281 Avg., 35 HRs, 97 RBIs), Nick Swisher (31 HRs, 85 RBIs, 95 runs), Barry Zito (15-9, 3.86 ERA, 137 Ks)
In a reversal of what is happening in far too many cities, the Athletics are a team that deserves better. Year after year, front-office administration after front-office administration, Oakland contends for the postseason. Yet what do they and their fans have to show for it? Large green tarps over the upper-deck seats and a new set of concrete football bleachers, a neighborhood that invites passersby to make a beeline for San Francisco, and a festering disaster should the team's fortunes start sliding downhill. But there McAfee Coliseum is, quietly ticking until Bud Selig and his minions decide that the A's would look better in Las Vegas or Louisville or someplace where the fans can be conned into handing over tax dollars for a new ballpark. But look at the bright side -- Selig could retire soon.