When it was discovered the Oakland A's would win the AL West and have home field advantage in the first round baseball playoffs, there was a bit of a conflict that occurred. They would play a night game the day before the Raiders played a day game and that wasn't enough time to transform O.co Coliseum from a baseball complex to football.
The make this possible they moved the Raiders game to a late night game. The new start time is 8:35pm. That seems late but that much time is needed to make the switch. The A's and Tigers were in a scoreless tie heading into the bottom of the 9th Saturday night and it made things a little tense for the grounds crew. But thanks to a Stephen Vogt walk-off hit with the bases loaded to keep the game from going extra innings.
This had the game ending at about 9:30pm which, if you consider it must be completely done a few hours before game time, gave the grounds crew roughly 20 hours to complete the task of changing out the entire stadium from A's to Raiders. They wasted no time in getting the switch underway.
The O.co Twitter account put out this picture at 9:50pm not 20 minutes after the game winning hit came off the Vogt's bat and just after the two teams had been cleared from the field after the game.
And just like that we begin conversion from #Athletics baseball to #Raiders football. See you soon #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/gpoKUtZfzB— O.co Coliseum (@OdotCoCOLISEUM) October 6, 2013
At 10:30pm, they could be seen taking away the bullpens
They're stealing the A's bullpen mound. #Raiders pic.twitter.com/kIFufr0jeB— Alex Espinoza IV (@AlexEspinozaIV) October 6, 2013
The O.co crew captured the removal of the pitching mound in this Vine video:
And there goes the pitching mound! #ColiConvert #athletics #raiders https://t.co/jfPzwrm1X1— O.co Coliseum (@OdotCoCOLISEUM) October 6, 2013
All the while the task of filling in the batter's eye wall with bleachers.
Pair of cranes now @ #Coliseum post #Tigers-#Athletics to prepare for Sunday night #Chargers-#Raiders. pic.twitter.com/5M8u0HTsub— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) October 6, 2013
Half an hour into conversion and here is what center field looks like at @OdotCoCOLISEUM #ColiConvert pic.twitter.com/CMm7Ao6FFf— Girotti (@KGirotti) October 6, 2013
As you can see here, the brief moment in which the A's tarps are off and the Raiders tarps have yet to go on.
One hour into #ColiConvert! Pitching mound is gone & tarps are off here at @OdotCoColiseum #Athletics to #Raiders pic.twitter.com/hYVgPDkSM9"— Justin Garett Brown (@RealJBrown89) October 6, 2013
Then just 35 minutes later, the Raiders tarps are in place. Man, these folks move quickly. We are just after midnight at this point.
#Raiders logo returns to Mt. Davis. #ColiConvert pic.twitter.com/I78k1mzA2i— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) October 6, 2013
Just after midnight & it's beginning to look a lot like #football! #athletics to #raiders #ColiConvert #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/kpyzqPvW0J— Girotti (@KGirotti) October 6, 2013
By this point, those media in the press box are heading home and the chronicling of the changeover has stopped. But here's a time lapse shot of the entire process from beginning to end.
Those who were in attendance at the A's game Saturday night as well as planning to attend the Raiders vs Chargers Sunday night, will leave the stadium in green and gold and return hours later to Silver & Black. Pretty cool what they do. And this could just be the last time they ever have to do it.