One of the smallest facilities in the NFL is Colisuem, which is commonly known as Oakland Coliseum. Home to the Oakland Raiders, this field has the second-least capacity behind only TCF Bank Stadium, which is designed to eventually add on additional space for fan attendance. Oakland Coliseum is also the third oldest in the league, opening for the first time on September 18th, 1966. The original cost was $25.5 million, with the mid-90s renovation coming in at a price tag of $200 million.

Oakland Coliseum is located right next to Oracle Arena. These two facilities are part of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex, which is adjacent to San Leandro Bay. One of the unique design elements of the Coliseum revolves around the fact that only the upper deck is visible from outside the facility. The playing field was built inset, lying 21 feet under sea level, while a hill was created for the upper concourse, blocking the view from the outside.

The Oakland Raiders have been involved in the San Diego Chargers’ stadium woes, stating that they would join the Chargers by sharing a playing facility, should the Chargers move to L.A. A new facility jointly owned by the teams would cost $1.7 billion, with the teams playing out of Carson, California. This has only added to the continued suffering of Raiders fans, who haven’t tasted a lot of victory since their last Super Bowl win in 1983.

Oakland Raiders Stadium

Although recent Raiders squads haven’t been very inspiring, visitors don’t enjoy playing at the Coliseum, partly due to Raider Nation. The fans located in “The Black Hole” consisting of some of the craziest football aficionados, are seated close to the action. Raider Nation grew to prominence after being inspired by the tough, aggressive play during their Super Bowl winning seasons in 1976, 1980 and 1983. The name gained popularity when the Raiders returned home to Oakland after playing in L.A. for more than a decade. Fans are known to dress up in complicated, black and silver costumes that strike fear in opposing teams and their fans.

The Raiders have played relatively well at home compared to their road record. They’ve gone 17-23 for a .425 home winning percentage at home over the past five years. The team has won two road games in the past two years, which gives fans a better idea of the actual quality of recent squads. Part of the advantage may be the fact that the NFLPA has rated the natural playing field at the Coliseum as the second worst, according to a 2010 survey. Oakland Raiders players might simply be more accustomed to the terrible field, which would partially explain their edge over opponents at home.

Stadium Vitals

Date Opened: April 15th, 1964

Construction Cost: $25.5 million; $200 million renovation finished in 1996

Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; HTNB

Capacity Attendance: 56,057

Playing Surface: Tifway II Bermuda Grass

Previous Oakland Raider Stadiums

Kezar Stadium; Candlestick Park; Frank Youell Field; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Other Major Events 

Oakland Athletics

Oakland’s MLB team joined the Raiders two years after the football team moved into the Coliseum. One of the more interesting aspects of playing ball at Coliseum is the sheer amount of foul territory available for fielders. This results in foul balls at other venues becoming outs at the Coliseum