OAKLAND (KPIX) -- It was like the season opener all over again when the Oakland's RingCentral Coliseum opened with no COVID restrictions, for the first time in nearly 2 years.
The A's welcomed the Rangers Tuesday night and hoped fans would come out and fill stands on the first night without coronavirus restrictions. Instead, the attendance came in at 4,739, a fraction of capacity. Some fans say it's a clear indication that this team needs a new ballpark.
Fans were cheering, concession stands were busy and fans were happy to be back without any restrictions.
"It's great to be back at the ballpark. We already got our hot dogs in and working on the cotton candy," says Jake Sauder.
While social distancing was no longer required and fans were sprinkled through the ballpark with row after row of empty seats.
Dave Limato, an A's fan says, "My dad loves it but he just can't understand why there's not enough people here. He said 'why don't we have more fans?' I don't know what to tell him."
Keara Simonetti, another A's fan adds, "I'm surprised there aren't more people but it's like anything. We're slowly dipping our toe in the water."
Many of the fans that showed up say the low attendance proves it's time for a new stadium.
"If they don't work something out, business being what it is, they will go somewhere else." says longtime A's fan Charles Yarnell as he points to his Las Vegas Raiders hat.
Those that have watched the A's play at this Coliseum site as kids say they are partial to keeping the team here in East Oakland.
"It's a shame," said Andera and Donald Fields. "This is the only ballpark left in Oakland. They should just rebuild the stadium."
But others want the waterfront ballpark.
"I am full in Howard Terminal," says Dave Limato. "If they do get it done, I'm buying season tickets."
There are some important dates coming up for the Howard Terminal ballpark project. There will be an informational meeting on July 7 with an Oakland City Council vote expected on the July 20.
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