By Zane Miller
On Sunday, December 15th, 2019, a pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes to wide receiver Chris Conley from quarterback Gardner Minshew led to the Jacksonville Jaguars taking down the Oakland Raiders in the final NFL game to be played at RingCentral Coliseum so far, with the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
On Wednesday, April 15th, 1964, construction began on what would be named the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, as the local government sought to replace the recently opened Frank Youell Field, which was only intended as a temporary stadium for the Raiders to play at while the Coliseum was being built.
In 1966, the Raiders, still members of the American Football League at this point, moved into the Coliseum as they looked to build upon their 8-5-1 record in the 1965 season, as well as earn their first AFL championship. While their debut season inside the new stadium saw them repeat their 8-5-1 showing and miss the postseason, the team would take their best record yet in 1967, going 13-1 to host the AFL championship game, as they defeated the Houston Oilers 40-7 to clinch their first and only AFL title. In doing so, the Raiders also made their first Super Bowl appearance, although they would lose to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers 33-14.
Oakland would reach the title game in the following two seasons, carrying their success into the NFL following the NFL-AFL merger prior to the 1970 season. Throughout the 1970’s, the Raiders would continue to be one of the most consistently powerful teams on the circuit, making the postseason in seven of the 10 years along with holding a winning record in every season during that span. The team capitalized on their regular season success with a Super Bowl victory over the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in the 1976 season, claiming their second not long after in 1980 against the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10.
While the Raiders’ 16-season long winning record streak ended in 1981, the more immediate concern would be the team’s move to Los Angeles for the following season, as a series of legal battles attempting to keep the team in Oakland would fall unsuccessful. For 1982, the team moved into Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to become the Los Angeles Raiders, leaving the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with the MLB’s Oakland Athletics as the lone tenant, with the exception of 1983 to 1985 as the United States Football League’s Oakland Invaders also held their home contests at the stadium.
While the Raiders’ time in Los Angeles would yield on-field success, including their victory in the 1983 season’s Super Bowl, issues related to dropped renovations for the current stadium as well as a proposed new stadium led to the Raiders relocating to Oakland once again, with their second tenure beginning with the 1995 season.
While Oakland continued to play well throughout the first several seasons of their return, seeing another Super Bowl appearance in the 2002 season, their performance hit a sharp dive right afterwards, as the team failed to put together a winning season from 2003 to 2015. While a 12-4 season in 2016 provided a brief blip of confidence, the Raiders continued to be mired in losing territory with a 6-10 showing in 2017 and a 4-12 finish in 2018, as the trend looked as though it would continue to the 2019 season.
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