SBD/June 17, 2013/Facilities

Sewage Issues At O.co Coliseum Have A's Execs, Players Talking New Stadium

O.co Coliseum, built in '66, has plumbing issues on a regular basis
The A's and Mariners "had to shower together in the Raiders’ second-floor locker room" at O.co Coliseum after yesterday's game because "raw sewage backed up into both clubhouse shower areas, the umpires’ room and all bathrooms on the clubhouse level," according to Susan Slusser of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Sewage also was backed up in "both managers’ offices and the Mariners’ training room." The umpires "left without showering, as did much of the Mariners’ coaching staff and manager Eric Wedge." A's VP/Stadium Operations David Rinetti said that the team "deals with this issue on a regular basis because of the age of the building." But he added, "Never to this extent." Slusser noted the game drew a sellout crowd of 36,067, "which might have put additional strain on the aging plumbing, but leaking pipes and backed up drains are common even on days off because the facility was built in 1966." A's President Michael Crowley, when asked about the need for a new stadium, said, “It’s clear, right? This isn’t the first time this has happened.” Rinetti said, "We will deal with the facility to evaluate it. We will replace all carpeting in affected areas to make sure it’s safe for players and staff of all teams and for our own employees to work down there. That is a very high priority" (SFGATE.com, 6/16). A's P A.J. Griffin said, "Make sure everybody finds out about this sewage thing. We need to get a new stadium" (AP, 6/16). ESPN.com's Buster Olney writes under the header "A New Low For A's Ballpark" and notes, "The current situation, stench and all, is unsustainable." Olney: "The stalemate involved in the Athletics' efforts to move to San Jose has continued, and what's crazy about it is that eventually, it's going to happen. At some point, either some owner or some politician is going to break out the baseball version of a legal broadsword, because the Oakland franchise is rotting and San Jose wants a team that the Giants ... say they can't have" (ESPN.com, 6/17).

MENU MALAISE: In S.F., Scott Ostler writes, "The A's ancient ballpark has its funky charms, but food variety ain't one of 'em." No longer available at "lower-level concession stands this season: Chicken tacos, chicken strips and maybe other items." Ostler: "Maybe the thinking is: Fewer distracting menu options mean more time for fans to enjoy the game. Is that a tarp over my old favorite chicken-taco stand?" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/17).
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