Leading Off

It’s 2020, and Oakland’s former teams see great success

The parking lot at O.co Coliseum, at top left, is crowded before an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 15, 2013. Next door, at top right, is Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors.
The parking lot at O.co Coliseum, at top left, is crowded before an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 15, 2013. Next door, at top right, is Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors. Associated Press file

It’s the first week of April 2020 in Oakland, and there’s not a ballpark, football stadium or basketball arena in sight.

The area that once was home to the Raiders, A’s and Warriors is undergoing a transformation into a mixed-use development of high-density housing, offices and shopping alongside Interstate 880. Oakland city officials lamented the loss of major sports on the one hand, but trumpeted a major urban reuse project on the other.

Want to see the defending NBA champion Warriors?

Hop on BART at the nearby Coliseum Station and head under San Francisco Bay to Mission Bay, where a privately financed sleek facility has housed the Warriors since the beginning of the 2018-19 season.

It’s been an ongoing celebration for the Warriors, who closed Oracle Arena in June 2018 with their second championship in four seasons and won another in their first season across the bay.

Want to see the A’s, who open this season with great hope, in a new home? Do you know the way to San Jose?

A’s executives sure did, following Dionne Warwick to downtown’s new 35,000-seat ballpark adjacent to the SAP Center and Diridon Station. The A’s were relatively successful in their final seasons in Oakland, despite the decrepit condition of O.co Coliseum and their limited payroll.

With the move south, owner Lew Wolff already has opened his wallet, signing free agent third baseman Kris Bryant away from the Cubs. With one of baseball’s top rosters, the A’s are favored to win the World Series.

Want to see the Raiders?

It’s a long drive down Interstate 5 – it’ll be at least another 10 years before we can zip down on the Jerry Brown Express – and they’ve become the toughest ticket in Los Angeles.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than four years since owner Mark Davis followed in his father’s footsteps and left the Silver and Black little more than black and blue. After three seasons at the expanded StubHub Center nearby – home of the MLS Galaxy – the Raiders joined the Chargers at Carson’s new StubHub Stadium, which hosted Super Bowl 54 two months ago.

After selling more than 40,000 seat licenses, the Raiders had 80,000-plus crowds as quarterback Derek Carr led them to eight home victories and a 12-4 record. Though they lost the Super Bowl to the 49ers, oddsmakers already have them as 3-1 favorites to win it all next year.

Tom Couzens: (916) 321-1097, @tomcouzens

Playbook

  • WHAT TO WATCH I: Indianapolis 500, 9 a.m., Ch. 3. It’s the biggest day of the year for open-wheel racing.
  • ON THIS DATE: On May 24, 1981, the Indianapolis 500 ends in controversy when Mario Andretti, who finished second to Bobby Unser, is declared the winner because Unser broke a rule during a slowdown period near the end of the race. The decision is later reversed, giving Unser credit for the victory, but he is fined $40,000.
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