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Saving Money and Navigating Sewage at the Oakland Coliseum

Tickets for sporting events can run so high that you have to make some sacrifices to purchase them – cutting back on meals out, avoiding going to Target unsupervised by another adult, and haggling with your electricity company over how serious “due dates” really are. Not to fear, though. There is a great place to enjoy a cheap baseball game. The stadium even comes with added benefits, like a small zoo of ravenous seagulls and sports enthusiast possums, restrooms with built in ponds, and sewage for plumbing enthusiasts. That’s right. I’m talking about none other than the Oakland Coliseum, home of the four-time World Series champion Oakland A’s. (Nine-time, if you go back to their Philadelphia days.)

I actually got these tickets for free... how's that for thrifty?!

The team hasn’t exactly been doing much of what sports experts call “winning” lately, but they still put on a good show. A better show than any other show. Hugh Jackman is not The Greatest Showman. That would, in fact, be A’s manager Bob Melvin. I’d pick out a player, but even hardcore fans haven’t heard of many of them this early in the season. Also, the average player tenure is roughly three innings, but he gets three innings of never-ending support from the fans. If you decide to head over to the Coliseum, you’ll see some passionate fans. We don’t care if the A’s keep finishing in fifth. We don’t care if fans 30 or older could be the parents of half of the roster. We just want to cheer the green and gold... and/or cry about them.

The upside to navigating the sewage while researching AARP is that ticket prices are pretty cheap. Prices do fluctuate a bit, but weekday games are your best bet. You can sit in the bleachers or the third deck for 15 dollars. Even the seats closest to the field will run you in the 40 and 50-dollar range. I personally enjoy sitting in the second deck behind home plate, which is in the mid-20s. It’s such a good deal that hundreds of birds can’t help flocking in. I’m 100% certain that their attendance is due to baseball, not the ballpark food they can attack with the fervor of an A’s fan who’s just been told that their favorite player has been traded… again.

I can't imagine a better use for 15 dollars... except maybe as an installment payment to keep players on the team.

Compare the prices of seeing the A’s to the prices fans pay to see an NFL game. A family of NFL fans has one collective kidney left after selling the rest to pay for an afternoon at the stadium. Meanwhile, a family of A’s fans can reasonably enjoy a game in several affordable seats, and they’ve taught their children the valuable skill of seagull self-defense. In addition, the sewage exposure has likely boosted their immune systems, saving them hundreds on future flu meds.

The A’s actually have made the playoffs quite a bit over the last two decades. Since the 2000 season, they’ve managed it eight times. Don’t bring any of these postseason trips up to A’s fans, though. Never, ever use the words “Giambi” and “slide” in the same paragraph. Also, steer clear of mentioning Jon Lester, a wildcard game, or anything about Kate Upton’s husband. *However*, the A’s are usually pretty good and fun to watch. If you’re not a fan of theirs, first of all, how dare you? But secondly, the outcome of the game won’t concern you too much. You’re at a cheap baseball game. If you complain, I’ve lost hope. Give one of your kidneys to that nice NFL family, braving the ticket prices to enjoy a game.

Photo credits: My mom. She went to games at the Coliseum for more than 40 years. She could fight off a seagull with the best of them.

With the affordable prices, the fact that a game basically doubles as a Wild Kingdom special, and the enjoyment of a scrappy group of guys trying to win some games while fending off outfield possums… the Oakland Coliseum is a great place to take a thrifty sports trip.

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