Oakland Ballers host sellout crowd in 1st-ever home opener despite traffic, noise concerns

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Thursday, June 6, 2024
Oakland Ballers host sellout crowd in first-ever home opener
The Oakland Ballers hosted a sellout crowd in their first-ever home opener, despite traffic and noise concerns.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- There was the historic first pitch and the first homerun at Raimondi Park at the Oakland Baller's first-ever home game Tuesday night. They lost to the Yolo High Wheelers, but did play to cheers of a sellout crowd.

With all the fanfare inside the park, there were a few nearby residents who raised concerns over traffic and noise.

"I have to say, the noise wasn't that bad. I was expecting it to be a lot louder. There was a lot of foot traffic, car traffic, right when the game started and towards the end of the game," says Andrew Klein-Reed. He lives across the street from the field.

He fully supports the Ballers playing here. But adds, he does understand his neighbors' concerns.

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"There was some tailgating going on, which some of the neighbors did have concerns, because it was so early, and some folks do their work from home. But other than that, no negatives," says Klein-Reed.

"I believe it's a good investment. It creates jobs," says Rodell Harrison.

Harrison has lived in the neighborhood for 71 years. His house is three blocks away. He is excited that the Ballers made it their home, too.

He wasn't impacted by traffic, but adds, the game times should help, too.

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"I'm glad they start the games like 6:30 p.m. People can mosey out no later than 10 o'clock, which is reasonable time for safety reasons," Harrison says.

Organizers say Opening Day is always the busiest. And there were many conversations beforehand around traffic and noise. They add that Raimondi is a 10-acre park, which was designed for big sporting events. But that they're monitoring and adjusting accordingly.

"We are going through an adjustment period with Raimondi park specifically, where more people want to be there. That's going to create more traffic. That is going to create more noise that might disturb some people. And I think that is just going to be an on-going adjustment and conversation process," says Josh Gunter with the Friends of Raimondi Park, a local volunteer organization.

The team's next 11 games will be played at home.

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