Athletics

Why A's can't reduce massive foul territory at Coliseum

Athletics
Matt Chapman makes catch

If Matt Chapman played his home games in any stadium other than the Oakland Coliseum, baseball fans would be robbed of several highlight-reel plays each season.

But thanks to the vast foul territory at the Coliseum, the Athletics' third baseman has plenty of ground to cover down the third base line, and uses it to his advantage.

But would the A's be better off reducing the foul territory in favor of more seats closer to the field of play?

NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil recently was asked about that, and explained why there will be no changes coming to the Coliseum.

"It's nearly impossible to do that because to get rid of that foul territory, you'd actually have to sink the field even lower," Brazil said. "And the problem with that is, the field is already, I want to say, 20 feet below sea level. So sinking the Coliseum [field] and adding more seats is not logistically possible. And that's also one of the biggest challenges of the Coliseum is it's so tight. The concourses, the clubhouse."

The Coliseum opened in 1966, and while it has undergone some notable renovations over the years (see Mount Davis), it might be too much work to change the foundation that close to the field.

"One of the challenges of the Coliseum is that it's all concrete, it's all walls that cannot move," Brazil said. "People have said 'Fix up the Coliseum.' You can't. That's like saying 'Put a flat screen in a '67 Chevy.' You can't do it. They've done enough. They've done as much as they can."

 

With the A's set to take on the New York Yankees on Sunday night in Oakland, ESPN's Buster Olney pointed out that the Coliseum has led MLB in the number of foul outs in eight of the last nine seasons, and has a comfortable lead this year.

Add in the fact that the A's are trying to get a new stadium built at Howard Terminal (or Las Vegas), and it's hard to see them sinking a sizable amount of money to make any massive renovations to the Coliseum in the next few years.

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And that's just fine for those that like to watch Chapman make spectacular plays running down pop flies in foul ground.