A raw sewage leak at the Oakland Coliseum forced the hometown Athletics to share a locker room with the Seattle Mariners before Sunday’s game.
The lower level of the stadium had overworked sewage pipes that backed up, spilling pools of putrid smelling water in the clubhouses for both teams and the umpires. The teams were moved instead to a different locker room used by the Oakland Raiders during NFL games.
Oakland A’s supporters see the sewage leak as evidence the team needs a new venue. The aging Coliseum has difficulty keeping up with modern demands, and suffers some deficiencies in design. The stadium is 47 years old, and after a six-day homestand that drew 171,756 fans, the sewage system simply couldn’t operate any longer.
“Make sure everybody finds out about this sewage thing,” Oakland starter A.J. Griffin said. “We need to get a new stadium.”
The team’s lease at the stadium expires at the end of the season.
Oakland Athletics team president Michael Crowley pointed out that it’s not the first time the Coliseum has seen a sewage leak. Leaking pipes are a common occurrence as the field is 22 feet below sea level and clubhouse three feet below sea level.
Players said they noticed the sewage backing up from shower drains before the game, forcing them to make a quick retreat to the Raiders locker room. The Athletics would go on to win the game 10-2.
The sewage leak at the Coliseum continued to create problems even after the game. Several players went without showering, and Mariners manager Eric Wedge had to hold his postgame press conference in a hallway. His office was flooded with a foot of liquid.The Oakland Athletics will likely be forced to replace carpeting around the entire stadium after the Coliseum’s sewage leak. Reporters said there were visible stains around nearly every drain on the ground level.