There’s a parking lot in East Oakland. You know the one. It’s nestled between the Amtrak Train tracks to the east and Highway 880 to the west, and bordered by a murky moat-like creek called Damon Slough…and all three of the city’s major sports teams play in either the O.co Coliseum on one side, or the Oracle Arena, on the other. Yeah, that parking lot.
It was packed Friday night.
People poured into the place once known as the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Complex, flaunting the colors of local sports franchises: A’s Bags, Warriors flags and even one person in a San Francisco Forty Niners hat.
Baseball fans feasted on barbecued steaks and then made their way toward the coliseum gates, as the Oakland A’s squared off against the Baltimore Orioles. Across the way, basketball fans waved Warriors paraphernalia in the background of the pregame show, ramping up for a first-round NBA playoff matchup between the 6th seed Golden State Warriors and the 3rd seed Denver Nuggets.
It has been 6 long years since the Warriors hosted a playoff game. The A’s have fared better: just last October, the team hosted a playoff game against the Detroit Tigers. That was the last time fans of the two teams mingled in this parking lot, as the Golden State Warriors hooped against Maccabi Haifa, the professional Israeli team, in a preseason matchup.
On that day in early October, the Warriors won the third game of their 2012-13 preseason, but the A’s lost the final game of their 2012 season to Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers.
On Sunday, things went better for Oakland: the A’s won the final game of their weekend series, cutting off a Baltimore sweep on their home turf. And the Warriors won the final game of the weekend, defeating the Nuggets with a dominating performance.
Among the fans out in full force on Sunday were two gentlemen who introduced themselves as Marco and Nate, and said they had come all the way from Guerneville in Sonoma County to enjoy Friday evening’s baseball game. The duo were drinking some beers, grilling some dogs –and both of them were sporting Raiders jerseys: Kenny Stabler and Bo Jackson. When asked why they were adding yet a third sport to the mix, Nate replied: “It’s NFL Draft weekend! Go Bay Area!”