Final preparations underway for A's Opening Day at the Coliseum

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Thousands of Oakland A's fan will be at the Coliseum for the team's home opener today.

The grounds crew was hard at work early this morning to keep the infield dry. It was covered with a tarp that they keep sweeping to clear off all the water. They also had blowers on the field to dry the grass. Meteorologist Mike Nicco says don't let the weather stop you from going, the rain may only delay the game at worst.

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The A's have made some upgrades the Coliseum. There are new seating options for the fans this season. The "A's Stomping Ground" is opening in outfield seats. Any parent who is trying to get through a baseball game with a toddler or a squirmy young child will appreciate the new seating option.

"It's really in response to our fans telling us 'I want to watch the game and I want a place my kids can be entertained as well.' That's what that is. It's a lot of cool, flexible seating options. And, behind we have opportunities for your kids to race against Rickey Henderson in a simulated race. We've got virtual reality batting cages, kids' concessions, bikes you can pedal to make smoothies for the kids," said A's Chief Operating Officer Chris Giles.

There is also a new Francis Ford Coppola theater area with television sets, premium seating and Coppola wine. The stadium will also have a new self-checkout beer and wine section.
There are new food offerings, including Spam Musabi. The idea was submitted by two fans last year. A launch test kitchen will feature a rotating schedule of chefs. The first chef is Tonya Holland from Brown Sugar Kitchen. A party pop tricycle will be roaming the concourse level offering popsicles with alcohol.

The A's are aware that Oakland sports fans have been through a lot with the loss of the Raiders to Vegas and the Warriors upcoming move to San Francisco. They take their role as Oakland's sports team seriously.

"We're rooted in Oakland and we are here to stay. It's really both an opportunity for us but also a big responsibility and we're taking the extra steps to give back to the community. We have a bunch of community programs we are rolling out as well," Giles said.

Today's game starts at 1:07 p.m. and there are still tickets available. The team expects to play in a new stadium starting in 2023. Until then, they plan to do all they can to spiff up the old Coliseum.

"We're putting in a lot of time and energy and building new features. Come try it. Come give it a shot. Attendance continues to grow year over year month over month. We are building something special," Giles said.

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