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    Expanding the Vision: Cricket at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    As the City of Oakland Councilmember At-Large who also serves on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority (OACCA) Board, I with pleasure share our interest to host cricket games at the Oakland Coliseum. The coliseum is a large and well-located venue, in the heart of a region with a strong and growing cricket fan base. The Coliseum Complex site is on the verge of a renaissance. The African American Sports and Entertainment Group recently entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the City of Oakland to develop the site, which will include affordable housing, and business development including life sciences, public services, and a potential home to a new WNBA team.

    Three years ago, in an op-ed for The Oakland Post, I wrote of the existing concerns about the loss of jobs, lack of affordable housing, and the further erosion of the Black community in East Oakland, and how community-oriented revitalization of the Coliseum site can help remedy these problems. (Read the piece here: ) Bringing cricket to the Coliseum expands this vision.

    With 2.5 billion followers, cricket is the world’s second-most popular sport. Our Board has become aware of the cricket market and the need for the U.S. to expand venues for such a popular and growing sport. The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum has the largest playing surface of all the Major League Baseball venues in the country. As such, it uniquely meets the field requirements to host cricket matches.

    Our venue has a proud history of hosting several different types of sporting events over the years. It is set up for broadcasting, and has a capacity of over 50,000. Additionally, it is centrally located in the Northern California Bay Area, near hotels and transportation options including the Oakland International Airport, trains and subway and bus transit, and a major freeway, with ample on-site parking, making it the ideal venue for games. In addition, we are located in Alameda County, which is home to a large and growing cricket fan base, including significant Indian and other South Asian communities.

    As the range of sports played in the U.S. continues to expand—with WNBA, soccer, and more growing in popularity—these, along with cricket, can provide for a positive, interactive, diverse future.

    Councilmember At-Large and Council President Rebecca Kaplan, who is the Vice Mayor of Oakland, was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( and Facebook (

    Out of the Closet and Into City Hall
    Published on March 9, 2023